SAMR music example (part 1)

A few weeks ago, I was watching an episode of the excellent PBS program Soundbreaking. I realized that the Beatles’ music is another great way to think about the SAMR model. As Ringo Starr explains, when they recorded their early albums, they basically just went in the studio and recorded what they’d been playing live for audiences. This is a great example of substitution in SAMR because the studio allowed the Beatles to record their music, but it didn’t actually change the music.

Find lessons and teaching materials for the Beatles on Soundbreaking at the PBS Learning Media Site for Indiana. Additional materials are available at, but you’ll need to create a free account.


Who or What is SAMR?

SAMR uses a four-step instructional model to expand students’ learning. The steps are substitution, and augmentation, modification, and redefinition. The latter two  pieces involve a more transformative learning experience. Watch the video for more information.

“The goal is  to transform learning experiences so they result in higher levels of achievement for students.”

-Renowned educational technologist Kathy Schrock

Why 1:1?

As many of you know, BNL students all received Chromebooks this year. Teachers at BNL received G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Education) training last year and are presently using that knowledge as they teach this year. For the 2017-18 school year, each NLCS middle school student will also receive a Chromebook. One of the greatest advantages of G Suite is the ability for students to collaborate on documents online. Likewise teachers can comment on and grade many projects digitally without using paper. The NLCS eCoaches are providing BNL teachers with additional educational technology training this year, beyond G Suite. Teachers are learning and sharing tools to expand how they teach and innovative ways for students to demonstrate their own knowledge. We’ve already begun offering G Suite training to middle school teachers, and we’ll provide additional guidance and assistance for those teachers too. Technology isn’t the key to student success, but it provides additional learning opportunities for NLCS students.