SAMR and Bloom’s Taxonomy
For teachers just starting out with educational technology, the task at hand can sometimes seem daunting. Even though tools such as the SAMR model can help, the plethora of choices available can prove paralyzing, frequently resulting in ongoing substitutive uses of the technology that block, rather than enable, more ambitious transformative goals.
The approach below is designed to help overcome this barrier, and is inspired in its form by Alexander’s notion of Design Patterns -- a clearly structured solution to a recurring design problem -- which has been applied to education scenarios by Bergin et al. While it is not laid out exactly as a design pattern would be, it nonetheless provides a framework that a teacher could use in similar fashion.
The goal for the teacher is to construct a simple SAMR ladder that is coupled to Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy -- i.e., as the task moves from lower to upper levels of the taxonomy, it also moves from lower to upper levels of SAMR. The two Enhancement levels of SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation) are associated with the three lower levels of Bloom (Remember, Understand, Apply), while the two Transformation levels of SAMR (Modification, Redefinition) are associated with the upper levels of Bloom (Analyze, Evaluate, Create). In turn, within each grouping a similar ordering occurs -- e.g., Remember-type tasks are primarily associated with S-level uses of the technology, Understand-type tasks are associated with either S- or A-level uses of the technology, and so on. The following diagram illustrates this association.