User Generated Education

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SAMR as a Framework for Moving Towards Education 3.0

with 9 comments

Evolution, in its broadest sense, serves as a force to help humans move towards a better way of living given the current times or Zeitgeist.  It follows, then, that the education field should evolve as new opportunities and forces emerge and present themselves. But in general, this is not the case.  From the Time Magazine article, How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century

There’s a dark little joke exchanged by educators with a dissident streak: Rip Van Winkle awakens in the 21st century after a hundred-year snooze and is, of course, utterly bewildered by what he sees. Men and women dash about, talking to small metal devices pinned to their ears. Young people sit at home on sofas, moving miniature athletes around on electronic screens. Older folk defy death and disability with metronomes in their chests and with hips made of metal and plastic. Airports, hospitals, shopping malls–every place Rip goes just baffles him. But when he finally walks into a schoolroom, the old man knows exactly where he is. “This is a school,” he declares. “We used to have these back in 1906. Only now the blackboards are white.”

The evolution of education can be explained from moving from Education 1.0 to Education 3.0.  I have discussed Education 3.0 in several blog posts:

Briefly, Education 1.0, 2.0. and 3.0 is explained as:

Education 1.0 can be likened to Web 1.0 where there is a one-way dissemination of knowledge from teacher to student.  It is a type of essentialist, behaviorist education based on the three Rs – receiving by listening to the teacher; responding by taking notes, studying text, and doing worksheets; and regurgitating by taking standardized tests which in reality is all students taking the same test. Learners are seen as receptacles of that knowledge and as receptacles, they have no unique characteristics.  All are viewed as the same.  It is a standardized/one-size-fits-all education.

Similar to Web 2.0, Education 2.0 includes more interaction between the teacher and student; student to student; and student to content/expert.  Education 2.0, like Web 2.0, permits interactivity between the content and users, and between users themselves.  Education 2.0 has progressive roots where the human element is important to learning.  The teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships are considered as part of the learning process.  It focuses on the three Cs – communicating, contributing, and collaborating.

Education 3.0 is based on the belief that content is freely and readily available as is characteristic of Web 3.0. It is self-directed, interest-based learning where problem-solving, innovation and creativity drive education. Education 3.0 is also about the three Cs but a different set – connectors, creators, constructivists.  These are qualitatively different than the three Cs of Education 2.0.  Now they are nouns which translates into the art of being a self-directed learner rather than doing learning as facilitated by the educator. Education 3.0: Altering Round Peg in Round Hole Education

Emerging technologies is, can be, should be a driving force of this evolution towards Education 3.0.  Information access, communication methods, the ability for creative express is qualitatively different than any other time in history due to technological advances.

The SAMR model was developed by as a framework to integrate technology into the curriculum.  I believe it can also serve as a model to establish and assess if and how technology is being used to reinforce an old, often archaic Education 1.0 or being used to promote and facilitate what many are calling 21st century skills, i.e., creativity, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking; those skills characteristic of Education 3.0.  Many look at SAMR as the stages of technology integration.  I propose that it should be a model for educators to focus on Modification and Redefinition areas of technology integration.  Why should educators spend their time recreating Education 1.0 using technology at the substitution and augmentation levels when there are tools, techniques, and opportunities to modify and redefine technology integration for a richer, more engaging Education 2.0 or 3.0?

The following chart provides an overview of the ideas discussed in this post.


Slides from a presentation given on this topic:

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

February 23, 2014 at 2:37 am

9 Responses

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  1. I really enjoyed the graphic you provide as it gives good overview of not only what these concepts look like, but also regarding some specific skills. The graphic image of Education 3.0 had me thinking of a post I created relating to the rhizome structure of education. I love the wording used in your post with the students now as actors of change. In “Education 3.0 students are creators, connectors, and constructivists”. They have done, and now become.

    Surveying my own class, I realised the visual art students whom I teach were really only working towards being creators, and connectors and were lacking the ability to become constructivists on a large scale.
    The divide between home art and school art is something that I have been trying to lessen each year I teach and enabling students to curate their own constructivist circles in class is imperative.

    I wonder if that fourth ‘c’ – curators, might be worth investigating somehow further, or perhaps it is wrapped up in the concept of a constructivist?

    Matt McGrady

    February 23, 2014 at 10:30 am

    • Thanks, Matt. First, I appreciate that the graphic facilitated some self-reflection on your part! Second, I do think curation is an attribute of Education 3.0 – maybe as part of being connectors?

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      February 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm

  2. The chart you provided is very interesting and making me have a clear overview to introspect the differences Education 1.0 and 3.0. I was taught on Education 1.0 and get used to the teaching and learning ways. However, the world is changing with fast speed. As a teacher, catch up the change is necessary. I totally agree with your note that “computer technology exist not as ends but as support for student centered learning”. Lots of technology, apps, media can help teachers to reach the goal at the present day. But, how to train students to be self-directed learners is my biggest challenge now.


    March 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm

  3. Very interesting. I started working with this idea (SAMR + Learning/Education) when I couldn’t sleep one night last week. A colleague and I had just been working on a transition model for teachers and students from traditional learning/classrooms to a more personalized, self-directed, producer-minded learning environment. Both teachers and students need to be able to see another way of learning and be able to take the risk to try new things. Thanks for this.

    Barry Dyck

    November 27, 2014 at 3:33 am

  4. Are you aware of the background of the creator of SAMR? I would suggest you read this open letter and see if you still feel SAMR is a viable model.
    Linderuth, Jonas. (2013) “Open Letter to Dr. Ruben Puentedura.” Spelvetenskapliga Betraktelser(October 17).

    Susan Allen

    January 28, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    • Thanks for the comment, Susan – I am using this framework due to its popularity. I am using this framework as a tool to demonstrate how technology permits a different kind of learning – more towards andragogy and heutagogy – rather than using technology to recreate a teacher-directed education

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      January 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm

  5. I see how integrating technology is crucial for the classroom; am wondering how to keep them on task when it would be so easy to be doing something else?


    March 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    • For me, it depends on the other thing they are doing – if it is interest driven and educational, then who are we to say that is wrong. If it is just browsing FB or other social media, that is a problem and we then discuss self-discipline and learning when it is the right time to do what.

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      March 3, 2015 at 10:09 pm

  6. […] on a similar vein, Jackie Gerstein reframes SAMR in regards to the move from pedagogy to heutagogy. She marries the different layers with her case […]

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