In the article, Hamilton, Rosenberg, and Akcaoglu (2016) described the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) model with four hierarchical levels and reviewed the use of technology by teachers.  In particular, they pointed out three challenges in the SAMR model: Absence of Context, Rigid Structure, and Product over Process (Hamilton et al., 2016).

  • Absence of Context

The SAMR model is lack of context such as technology resources, individual student needs, teacher knowledge and technological support, etc (Hamilton et al., 2016).  For example, my students did a fun Cork Person Project using ChatterPix App on iPad.  There are five iPads available in the classroom, so my students had to take turns to do their projects.  In addition, many students needed assistance with technological issues and individual needs, hence this model cannot be used as a one size fits all method.

  • Rigid structure

The SAMR model consists of four hierarchical levels, which mainly focuses on the levels of technology use rather than acknowledge the complexity of teaching with technology.  It encourages teachers to move up to the modification and redefinition levels of the SAMR model for “better” learning outcomes (Hamilton et al., 2016).

  • Product over Process

The SAMR model overlooks the learning process as the goal is to target the change of the product.  The purpose of integrating technology in education should be on enhancing and supporting student’s learning; therefore, the process of student’s learning is more important than the final product (Hamilton et al. 2016).

To conclude, the SAMR framework has potential guidance and use for educators, but it should consider context as an important part of SAMR.  Also, the technology integration should not be an educational goal; it is just a tool to support student’s learning.  Therefore, it should not be labeled and defined as a taxonomic structure.  Teacher should be able to decide what type of technology to use in order to meet individual student’s needs and learning outcomes.  In addition, the SAMR model should attend to the process of learning instead of the final product.



Hamilton, E. R., Rosenberg, J. M., & Akcaoglu, M. (2016). The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) Model: a Critical Review and Suggestions for its Use. TechTrends60(5), 433–441. doi: 10.1007/s11528-016-0091-y