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Chrissy Hellyer

Nov 20, 2017

Leadership

Redefining Learning in the 1:1 Classroom

What does learning look like in the 1:1 classroom? We know what traditional learning looks like, but transitioning to a 1:1 classroom requires both teachers and administrators to take a look at the current lessons and redefine what that learning looks like.

In many ways, learning looks different now. Some of the biggest changes to learning in a 1:1 classroom are:

  • Access to a variety of information, experts, and content knowledge
  • Ease of collaboration and communication beyond the classroom
  • Opportunities to reach an authentic audience
  • Shift from teacher-directed to student-directed inquiry and creativity

Redefining learning in the 1:1 classroom can either be a massive change, or a natural progression, depending on your previous pedagogical approach. In classrooms where project-, problem-, or challenge-based learning is the norm, the addition of technology should fit right in as another pathway for students to explore and utilize to demonstrate their learning. However, in a more traditional classroom environment, the addition of technology, specifically when used to transform learning, should look completely different.

No matter what pedagogical structure you are most familiar with, the two most widely used, research-based, foundational models for integrating technology into the classroom are the SAMR model and the TPACK model.

SAMR is perhaps the most well-known and frequently implemented model of technology integration around the world. SAMR focuses exclusively on the way we use technology in the classroom, specifically on the level of impact the technology can have on learning.

SAMR stands for four levels of technology use:

  • Substitution: Technology acts as a direct tool substitute, no functional change.
  • Augmentation: Technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement.
  • Modification: Technology allows for significant task redesign.
  • Redefinition: Technology allows for the creation of new tasks previously inconceivable.

TPACK takes a more holistic view of technology for learning. Instead of viewing technology use through the demonstration of learning, or the learning experiences, TPACK looks at the three critical domains of teaching within the whole structure of your lesson, unit, or academic year.

The three critical domains (of TPACK) are:

  • Technological Knowledge: what we know about technology;
  • Pedagogical Knowledge: what we know about how people learn;
  • Content Knowledge: what we know about our subject.

Often teachers or schools will gravitate towards one model versus the other, but in fact they are designed to work together. TPACK provides a more holistic view, while SAMR is more granular. Both approaches provide excellent lenses with which to view the use of technology in the classroom.

It’s important to note that not all 1:1 classrooms are the same. When creating a 1:1 classroom, we know that you won’t be walking into a cookie cutter idealized version of 1:1. There will be challenges in every classroom, but as long as the focus is on the transformational use of technology in a way that places the student at the center of learning, you’re on the right path!

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