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3 Digital technologies for online teaching

Illustration of the SAMR model.
Figure 4 The SAMR model

This section of Week 2 gives an overview of the possible technologies available to an online teacher, and the ways in which they can support and influence teaching and learning.

The SAMR model categorises four ways in which the introduction of technology changes teaching activity (Puentedura, 2017):

  • Substitution: where technology is used as a direct substitute for what you might do already, with no functional change.
  • Augmentation: where technology is a direct substitute, but there is functional improvement over what you did without the technology.
  • Modification: where technology allows you to significantly redesign the task.
  • Redefinition: where technology allows you to do what was previously not possible.

There has been substantial debate about the value of, and evidence for, the SAMR model (for example Love, 2015). However, it has achieved some popularity amongst researchers and practitioners. Here, we are simply using it as a way to categorise four ways in which a teacher might start to introduce technology into their online teaching. If you have time, you may wish to explore some of the discussions about the value of this model, starting by following up the references above.

The following sections describe different groups of tools that teachers might commonly use in getting started using technology in online teaching.

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