It’s not the app, but how you use it!

In our Edtech meetings lately, we have been discussing the transition of training to move beyond simply training on tools to focus more on the ways that those can be implemented and used. As more and more people get familiar with the SAMR model developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. As more and more…the important question being asked is how to move beyond substitution and redefine the work in the classroom, to move beyond enhancement to transformation of lessons.

SAMR model

Image credit: Sylvia Duckworth @sylviaduckworth and @edappadvice

A jumping off point is always good to have especially when it comes to technology but it is important to remember that it is exactly that, a jumping off point and not the only way to complete a project. So in Mansfield we have developed a type of cheat sheet to aid our teachers’ thinking toward transformation of their lessons. Too many times we get stuck in the idea of using a certain app, when the truth is much simpler: It’s not the app but how you use it that will truly determine if you are transforming a lesson.  Using an iPad or an app alone does not automatically transform the lesson.  In many cases it simply moves you into the realm of substitution. The Google Drive app can both be used as a substitution-based activity all the way to being re-definitional. With the amount of possibilities that are available both app or web based, transformational learning is now so much easier to achieve.  Transformational learning is now so much easier to achieve with the endless app and web-based possibilities.

TechYourLesson1, Download this to get a PDF clear copy of this same sheet.


Transformational learning is only achieved when we make the conscious effort to dive deeper into learning.  When looking to the New Learning Standards in Creating a New Vision for Public Education, it is clear that students should not just be consumers but creators of knowledge.  Allowing students and teachers to embrace digital learning will lead to greater transformation in learning. Thus, it is essential to make sure that we as teachers create ample and varied opportunities for students to do just that.  

2.  F. New learning standards should reflect realities of the new digital era, where students are not just consumers of the knowledge but creators of the knowledge.


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