ISTE-SAMR Alignment


The ISTE Standards below come from the ISTE Standards for Students.


  1. Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
  2. Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.
  3. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
  4. Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.

Empowered Learner Tools on Stripes


  1. Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
  2. Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
  3. Students demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.
  4. Students manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.

Digital Citizen Tools on Stripes


  1. Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
  2. Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility, and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.
  3. Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
  4. Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Knowledge Constructor Tools on Stripes


  1. Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
  2. Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
  3. Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
  4. Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

Innovative Designer Tools on Stripes


  1. Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
  2. Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
  3. Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
  4. Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Computational Thinking Tools on Stripes


  1. Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
  2. Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  3. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
  4. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Creative Communicator Tools on Stripes


  1. Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.
  2. Students use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.
  3. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.
  4. Students explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions.

Global Collaborator Tools on Stripes

ISTE Standards for Students, ©2016, ISTE® (International Society for Technology in Education), All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Examples of use:


No “level” of SAMR (pronounced SAM-“ARE”, according to its creator) is greater than the other. What matters is the appropriate use of the tool. SAMR is a tool to recognize the depth of technology utilization. Substitution and Augmentation mirror the functionality non-digital tools for learning. Modification and Redefinition describe some drastically or totally novel learning activity.


None of these levels are fully concrete as how the tool is utilized determines the level, not the tool itself. In other words, just because a stripe on this site is labeled one way with the example, it does not mean that it can only be one of those. The editors of this site may not have thought of a way to use the tool that deeply. Please feel free to suggest examples. Remember the purpose of models like the SAMR model is to get educators thinking about deepening their practice (see Ruben Puentedura’s Common Sense Education interview video below).

Utilizing tech to automate some of what we do in the classroom is good, making our classroom more efficient (enhancement). When tech allows us to do something never done before, it is transformational.

Let’s hear about SAMR from the creator, Ruben Puentedura.


  • Technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change.
  • Examples: SmartBoard as a teaching tool; type an assignment; draw an illustration; XtraMath; Accelerated Reader; use the Internet to access info, links, and bookmarks, using a digital portfolio for storage; read along while listening to an audio recording of a book, use Google Maps instead of an atlas.

Find Substitution examples on Stripes


  • Technology acts as a direct tool substitute with functional improvement.
  • Examples: create multimedia presentation; use Smartboard as a learning tool; find, evaluate, analyze online information; editing or embedding media; use of variety of media for instruction; create a book review using various add-ons such as speech recognition; use iBooks to read and annotate a text using the built-in dictionary etc.; iReady instruction and assessment; IXL Math.

Find Augmentation examples on Stripes


  • Technology allows for significant task redesign.
  • Students communicate with others about their learning.
  • Examples: students plan, film, edit, and publish a video/ podcast; students use advanced features on Smart Board like linking and recording; students categorize, tag, classify, organize, and share digital info; students use google classroom to post book reviews while receiving peer feedback and participate in discussions about their book; create an interactive book that has images, videos and links to websites; create a screen cast showing how to find angles in a triangle; use Kidblog to extend a discussion about the book being read in class.

Find Modification examples on Stripes


  • Technology allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable.
  • Students use online tools to display the results of their work, to compare results, and to develop deeper levels of understanding. Media gives students an online stage with a real audience.
  • Examples: Students create SmartBoard resources and lessons; students create a digital portfolio that is reflective; use Animoto to create a 30-60 second book trailer and turn the URL of their trailer into a QR code for back of book for other students to access; participate in a Global Read Aloud project using Skype.

Find Redefinition examples on Stripes


Describe current lesson non-tech integrated lesson plan:      Independent vs. Dependent Events 

Technology acts as a direct substitute, with no change in the teaching or learning task.

Ex: Reading a PDF on a tablet.


Technology provides some functional improvement, perhaps making a task more efficient or easier to complete.

Ex: Reading an ebook that allows the reader to highlight, bookmark, and share notes.


Technology alters the task significantly, providing functionalities that allow the teaching or learning task to be completed in a different way.

Example: Reading an interactive book that includes videos, links, and discussion threads to learn more.


Technology provides new opportunities for teaching or learning that were previously not possible.

Ex: Participating in a global book club, with video read-alouds across multiple countries and book discussions on social media.



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