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Both the article and video built upon some background knowledge I have about SAMR and STEM/STEAM, resulting from Next Generation Science Standards workshops I have attended for school. The idea that PBL, STEM/STEAM, and the SAMR framework are all interconnected is definitely how I feel. The Next Generation Science Standards will be implemented in my school a grade level at a time, starting next year. One look over, and most teacher will realize the way they currently teach science cannot possibly meet the standards.

PBL and technology connect through SAMR because SAMR is examining how we use technology in our classrooms. PBL requires real world application, student creativity, decision making, sharing of ideas, critical thinking, and independence (to some degree). Taking a look at SAMR, the framework shows that technology can be implemented in several ways in our classrooms, but which of these ways is the most authentic, provides lasting understanding, and mastery of standards? PBL allows to new ideas to be created, reinvented, and preconceived notions questioned. Student exploration and inquiry based learning becomes so natural and feasible when they are creating and developing their own ideas. This ties in directly with the most effective implementation of technology in our classrooms. For example, PBL can easily and fluidly help students develop their own multimedia presentation, coordinate and record an interview, locate a place on Google Earth near school and explore it, etc. These are the higher tier and more effective ways of using technology in our classroom. It makes it meaningful, real, and important to our students, and this is clearly tied to the same principals and end results as when PBL is implemented. The two clearly go hand in hand.

Moving away from just projecting old PowerPoints, or pulling up an etext to lecture next to, we need to implement technology by examining and truly understanding what our standards are asking us to do. Across subject areas, standards as us to have students solve real world problems, which means standing next to a Smartboard can’t be all the technology experience we provide for our students. Using tools and creating by using a variety of technological platforms is how we will prepare students to solve these real world problems.

Finally, I think that the SAMR framework allows teachers to reflect on how we can truly reach and empower our 21st century students to use those higher order thinking skills. As technology moves forward, it is our responsibility to equip our students with the tools and experience to feel confident, creative, and competent enough to at some point solve their “real world problems”. Using technology effectively and really reaching out students is what can prepare them to build and use these skills in the future.

References

Common Sense Media. (n.d.). Introduction to the SAMR Model. Retrieved February 18, 2016, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/introduction-to-the-samr-mode

M. G. (2014, September 15). Essential Connections of STEM, PBL, and Tech Integration… What Would Dewey Think? Retrieved February 18, 2016, from https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/essential-connections-of-stem-pbl-and-tech-integration-what-would-dewey-think/

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