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The SAMR Model - Technology, My Teaching and Learning Engagement

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

The SAMR Model was developed by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura in 2006 to demonstrate and assist teachers in integrating technology into everyday lessons.

“SAMR” is an acronym for four levels of technology integration: “S” for Substitution, “A” for Augmentation, “M” for Modification, and “R” for Redefinition.

The SAMR Model shows the progression of adoption and integration of educational technology. The model illustrates how teachers' skills and confidence grows in the usage and integration of technology in their teaching and learning experiences.

The SAMR Model can be explored and looked at from different aspects.

  1. The way the teacher uses technology for administration and planning tasks.

  2. How the teacher integrates technology into every lesson.

  3. The manner in which the teacher encourages learners to engage and create using a range of technologies.

Teachers can individually assess and evaluate their own use and integration of technology into their teaching and learning practices. How the technology is not just an add-on, but rather woven into the fabric of the lesson.

Teachers can ascertain the learners' level of engagement with technology in their lessons.

Learners may self evaluate the level for the use and level of technology integration by teachers. Schools may encourage the feedback by learners, to evaluate staff development related to lessons with the type of technology integration. This may be seen as controversial, but it may also assist in driving change.

It may also be seen as beneficial, if teachers hear what learners see as useful, beneficial and effective. Which technology activities do learners see as most beneficial and why?

Then teachers could analyse: How do the learners’ views and perceptions impact their results and quality of work? And their development of understanding of knowledge?

Tasks and lesson ideas could be linked to higher order thinking, and the use of the technology.

Four stages of the Model


Technology used as substitute, with no functional change

Possible usage by teachers:

  • Teacher writes and draws on an electronic board the same way as a chalkboard.

  • Types notes on the computer, instead of handwritten sheets or someone else typing it.

  • Scanning of notes or worksheets and converting them into PDFs, and sharing them with learners to read.

  • Take photographs of the classroom charts or class rules, and share the digital version with learners to read.

  • Create the class timetable into a digital timetable.

  • Record tasks and lists of to-dos on a digital tool, instead of writing them.

Possible usage by learners:

  • Learners observe the lesson as before, on an electronic whiteboard instead of a chalkboard.

  • Learners work on a printed worksheet and hand it in.

  • Use an ebook instead of a textbook.

  • Learners type answers on a digital worksheet, as they would have in a written book.

  • Learners read information off of a pdf.

  • Access an online timetable from a tool such as a digital calendar.


Technology used with functional improvements adds value to planning, teaching or lesson’s task.

Possible usage by teachers:

  • Create an online assessment for learners to complete online, instead of paper-based assessment, which includes automarking and saves the teacher time. The teacher can decide if the assessment is automarked and feedback can be immediate. Or a mixture of automarked and long questions, that the teachers’ marks and may submit marks later to the learners, e.g. Google form.

  • Teacher uses AR apps to assist with understanding concepts, for example investigating insects by exploring them in AR in Google Arts and Culture.

  • Teachers using VR experience to help learners build content knowledge, eg: Google Arts and Culture or Google Earth or YouTube.

  • Adding “minutes of meeting” document to the calendar invitation for subject or grade meetings. One team member types notes during the meeting, and they will be done by the end of the meeting.

Possible usage by learners:

  • Learners annotate the answers, and the information will be on a pdf.

  • Learners create 3D models using a digital resource and print and build paper models or send files to a 3D printer and print a 3D model.

  • Learners may use AR and VR to build content.


Technology used to modify, change and redesign learning experiences, planning lessons and tasks, teaching and learning experiences. Using technology to modify administrative tasks to work more effectively.

Possible usage by teachers:

  • Learners create a new calendar for homework and project planning, to streamline their work.

  • Teacher creates a website with videos and content for learners to refer to, to access information.

  • The Teacher begins to build interactive lessons on a LMS such as Google Classroom, Moodle or LightBulb Education to engage with learners, providing feedback and online marking.

  • Teacher uses simulations and interactive AR apps for learners to build and create solutions to build understanding and context, for example Geogebra AR to understand geometry using 3 dimensions typing in formula and experiencing the view.

  • Teachers create quizzes with unusual, interactive response formats, on tools such as Lori games or

Possible usage by learners:

  • Learners complete online assessments, and get instant feedback from their responses or after their work is marked and moderated. The results are easily shared with their learners.

  • Learners complete all their work online, using the LMS to access and submit their work.


Technology used to redefine and create new learning experiences

The Redefinition stage of the SAMR model represents the peak of how technology can transform a learner’s learning experience. As the teacher, the technology tools allow educators to redefine a traditional task in a way that would not be possible without the tech, creating a novel experience.

Possible usage by teachers:

  • The teacher uses the technology to create new unusual resources using digital tools to begin to teach completely differently using technology.

  • The teachers may create an application (app) for learners to use about specific lesson content.

  • The teachers may create a website.

  • The teacher uses the data from all of the various tasks to create effective personalised learning, and creating visualised dashboards of individual learners' progress in relation to learning tasks and assessments.

  • The teacher begins to code to create personalized teaching solutions.

Possible usage by learners:

  • Learners create an app to solve a problem.

  • Learners use a range of technology to plan, film, edit, add annotations, add music for a video as a project.

  • Learners create a dashboard to visualise and communicate research findings for a particular researched project.

  • Learners use technological resources, websites and tools to investigate and document a task, for example Google Maps, National Geographic, Spreadsheets, Slides to present information, adding self made audio and video explanation. They may share the presentation as a live, self-rotating presentation that can be viewed at any time.

  • Learners create new tools using their own creativity and imagination using tools such as ‘Experiments with Google.

Use the SAMR model to reflect on your own use of technology in all the various aspects of teaching; the administration, planning, assessment, and the teaching and learning experiences for your learners.


Karen Walstra conducts professional teacher development workshops about technology integration. Contact Karen was workshops and presentations for your staff development, at , explore the Sevices and Courses or complete the Contact

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