The SAMR Model: A Touch of Technology in the Classroom



It’s no secret that the way we conduct our everyday life has dramatically shifted since 2019. Whether it's exchanging commerce, connecting with family and friends, or in this case - how we provide education. Educators are greeted with the unique challenge of moving beyond traditional classroom settings to provide a similar experience to their students with a technological touch. Education Technology (EdTech) has been the go-to option, but choosing the right one for their instructional tasks can be tricky. The SAMR tool is divided into four tiers of online learning, Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. 

SAMR is a conceptual tool created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura that analyzes the use of technology in the classroom to develop educational instruction for every student. SAMR invites technology to assist in the development of patterns and their associations for students in an engaging way. Visualization is key here as students will now be able to not only remember facts but visualize how to apply them in various ways. Let’s break down SAMR a little further with some examples of how it can be implemented in the classroom.


Substitution is the simplest stage of the model where educators are taking tangible materials and activities, but making them digital. Photocopying in-class lectures, worksheets, and vocabulary lists to store on Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive is one great example; allowing students to type their notes instead of writing them is another excellent example of substitution. Clear Touch panels can serve as a great alternative to traditional dry-erase whiteboards or chalkboards. Using our Chorus™ software, we make that transition fun and seamless for educators. 

Educators can also provide instructional videos to their students using Zoom or Skype. This will allow students the ability to process information at their own pace. This is also a great way to provide clarity by enabling students to use closed captioning (CC) to subtitle spoken words.

The goal here is to keep it simple. 



At this stage, educators should look for ways to use technology as a direct substitute, but with some functional enhancements. They can activate their creativity and attach multimedia to provide a well-rounded perspective on their level of comprehension of the topic. A great example of this would be using PowerPoint or Prezi presentations. 

Paper quizzes and tests can be daunting tasks for students. Clear Touch panels are integrated with NUITEQ Snowflake software that includes an online polling feature that allows students to participate from their own devices via a QR Code or link. Using Snowflake software, educators can include standardized lesson plans, interactive activities, and educational games.  As a bonus - it makes grading for educators a breeze and results for students can be relatively instantaneous. 

Image Modified from Original by Lefflerd on Wikimedia Commons
Image Modified from Original by Lefflerd on Wikimedia Commons


In this stage, we aren’t simply enhancing learning, but rather transforming it! The goal is to bring that classroom to the student, right where they are. Investing in stable distance learning software like our is key here. Educators can post announcements, create calendars, input grades, and message students as they would in a traditional classroom setting. Educators can track student activity and create notifications that require acknowledgment to advance further in LMS to ensure accountability both for the student and educator.  


The last stage redefines how the classroom experience can be positioned. Technology has allowed educators to create experiences for students that would be impossible in otherwise traditional settings. See how our interactive panels improve accessibility for students with additional needs in our previous blog post celebrating Special Education Day

Educators can also create and present multimedia presentations using our panels. With Clear Touch panels and Chorus infinite whiteboard software, students and teachers can present media, flash games, notes, ad-free youtube videos, and more! This allows students to feel anything is possible and creates intrinsic motivation to continue learning out of the fear of missing out (FOMO). 


The SAMR model is merely a planning tool for designing learning experiences for students. As a little extra credit for educators - it creates an opportunity for educators to step into a world where learning can be fun and interactive in a new way. A few things to remember when selecting the right tool for the job:

  • Is technology going to improve the lesson? 
  • How can technology engage and empower students? 
  • Does technology create exposure to the outside world in a safe, fun interactive way? 

Remember, don’t overcomplicate it - if the wheel isn’t broken or it doesn’t serve the students, the traditional method may be the best way to go. However if there is an opportunity to add a technological touch, give it a try! Want to learn how Clear Touch educational solutions can enhance your classroom? Book a free online demo today.

More about Clear Touch
Clear Touch, headquartered in Greenville, SC, is a leading US global manufacturer of interactive touch panels and accessories as well as digital signage displays and solutions for education, government, and business. Clear Digital is our affiliate brand that specializes in digital signage solutions. For more information, visit our websites:  | |

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