In an article by Tim Hickey called “Technology for Learning, not for Technology’s Sake: Toolbelt Theory and the SAMR Model” posted on nctm.org, the author covers two types of incorporating different styles of technology into math education. As stated in the title, these two ways are called the Toolbelt Theory and the SAMR Model. Each of these is its own unique way to involve technology in the mathematics classroom.
I’ll start with the Toolbelt Theory. The Toolbelt Theory implies that teachers should be giving students different ‘tools’ to add to their toolbelt. Once they are shown how to use a different type of technology they then have added another ‘tool’ to their lifespan toolbelt, or types of technology they will be able to use for the rest of their life. By looking past the standard paper and pencil approach, we are able to provide students with lifelong learning tools.
The second method, the SAMR Model, is an acronym standing for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. By using these for terms, you can incorporate technology into a lesson in many different ways. Substituting technology can help teach the same lesson but in a more engaging way. Augmentation will help teachers analyze class data. Modifications will require students to step out of their comfort zone and use technology as an assignment. And redefining a task allows teachers to be more creative in lesson planning.
I believe both of these methods can have a good impact in the classroom. I will certainly do my best to teach students how to use different types of programs and gadgets to add to their toolbelt. One way to achieve this is to use the SAMR Model or one similar in my classroom.
The next article is titled “Using Technology as a Learning Tool, Not Just the Cool New Thing” is written by Ben McNeely. In this article, he talks about technology and some of its problems along with its positives. The problems with technology are funding, the urge to cheat using the technology, and teaching people how to use it. The positives are the interaction that technology can spark, the skills that students can learn from it, and using it to connect with other generations.