This week we began talking about technology, and the ways our schools are adapting to implement it in their classrooms. We also began discussing the SAMR model, which categorizes the various degrees in which technology is integrated within a classroom. The letters in the name are as follows:
Substitution – Technology is directly substituted for traditional methods (ex. moving from written essays to typed)
Augmentation – Technology again is directly substituted, but with enhancements to the functionality (ex. typing your essay but using a spell-check)
Modification – Technolgy redesigning and altering the way you teach (ex. using Google docs allowing multiple people to participate and give feedback at once)
Redefinition – Using technology to alter tasks in new and creative ways that were previously unheard of or impossible. (ex. creating short films using iMovie and other video-making platforms)
In the knowledge of these categories, our task for the week was to find an app that we had not heard of before. We were then told to try it out and give our feedback on it, while also placing in one of the categories of the SAMR model.
For my app I wanted it to relate to my field of study which is, of course, math. I began looking around at the various apps that were recommended for teachers, and I stumbled upon one called CK-12 which is available on pretty much every device. This free service offers multiple quizzes and learning resources for pretty much anything relating to Math, Science, and even some resources for English.
To start, I want to talk about the thing that I like most about it, which was that it is for everyone. Whether you are in grade 1 math or university level calculus, they provide resources for it all. I also appreciated that they provided lessons on how to learn the various math concepts, that included written explanations along with video tutorials. I can see this as being a great resource for teachers to recommend to their students, either as a review, extra practice, or even just some extra help.
The things that I didn’t like about were very few and very nitpicky, such as the app ran fairly slow at times, but for being a free app, I can not criticize it too much. One suggestion I would give the app would be to add the ability to let teachers track the progress of students if you did want to use it as a classroom tool. I think the app was designed more for individuals to get extra help, but it is a feature that would be cool to see.
Looking at the SAMR model, I believe this app would fall under the Augmentation category. I think this because it provides a technological replacement for learning and reviewing math, science and English concepts, and could be seen as a replacement for textbooks. I believe it is placed above simply the Substitution category because it caters to every individual, whether that be their subject area or learning style, which is something that is pretty much impossible to do in a traditional classroom setting. Overall this is a great app for Math teachers to recommend for their students.
Side Note: One other app that I have used before, and would check out is Photo Math, which provides step-by-step solutions to any math problem.
If you have any resources you would like to share, feel free to leave a reply down below and I would love to check them out!