Technology Enriched Language Teaching: SAMR Model as a Framework for Promoting Students' Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)

SAMR is a model that evaluates how technology integration affects the learning task and enhances the learning experience. It was created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura in 2012 as a framework for teachers to incorporate emerging technologies into their daily lessons. The goal of SAMR is to help staff and students acquire proficiency in modern consumer technologies and software, which is critical for promoting 21st-century skills.

The SAMR framework recognizes technology as a separate task in the learning process. Kirkland (2014) suggests that creating a rich learning task is already challenging for teachers, and integrating technology adds an extra layer of risk and uncertainty. SAMR's visual hierarchical structure categorizes technology integration into four different tasks: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition, which are further grouped under two areas, "Enhancement" and "Transformation." By following this framework, teachers can systematically evaluate their technology integration practices and strive towards effective implementation.

Modification, and Redefinition, which are grouped under two different areas: "Enhancement" and "Transformation." The tasks of Substitution and Augmentation are categorized as "Enhancement," which means they use technology to replace and/or improve existing tools in the learning task. Meanwhile, the tasks of Modification and Redefinition are grouped as "Transformation," as they provide new learning opportunities that are not easily possible without technology (Kirkland, 2014).

The SAMR framework also promotes High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), which are cognitive activities involving higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. Bloom's Taxonomy is comprised of six levels: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) revised the taxonomy to include remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. In their development, remembering, understanding, and applying are grouped as low order thinking skills. As a result, SAMR can help students promote their high order thinking skills in the classroom or outside the classroom (flipped classroom) (Suprapto, 2017).

With technology increasingly entering the classroom, both in school-based equipment and student-owned devices, SAMR provides an approach that allows future teachers to consider how to integrate technology to improve their instruction. By reflecting on how SAMR gave them ideas for teaching English, teachers can enhance their lessons and create more engaging and meaningful learning experiences for their students.

The first level, substitution, involves using technology to replace a traditional learning task or resource. This means that instead of using a paper-based textbook, we can use an e-book. However, the basic function of the resource and learning task remains the same. Substitution is the lowest level of the SAMR model and provides no significant change to the learning experience.

The second level, augmentation, involves enhancing the learning experience with technology. This level provides a technological improvement for a task that could be accomplished without technology. For example, we can add multimedia elements, such as video links, online translators, dictionaries, digital images, and interactive diagrams and charts, to an online textbook to improve its functionality. These elements would have been impossible with a paper-based textbook, but they do not significantly change the learning task. Augmentation provides some improvement to the learning experience, but it still does not fundamentally change the way that students learn.

The third level, modification, allows for a pre-existing task to be significantly altered in a way that is not possible without technology. This means that we can provide students with media resources and ask them to select important information and build knowledge about the topic themselves. They are actively engaged in the learning process and doing more than just taking notes and recalling information later. For instance, a teacher assigns a research project to a group of students. Instead of just writing a paper, the students create a multimedia presentation using tools like Prezi or Google Slides. They include videos, images, and other interactive elements to convey their findings. Modification requires more interaction with the content and a deeper understanding of the material.

The fourth and final level, redefinition, involves using technology to create a new learning task that was not possible without it. This level goes beyond enhancing or modifying an existing task and creates something new. Students use virtual reality to experience a historical event or scientific concept that they wouldn't otherwise be able to witness. For example, they might use VR to visit a historical landmark, explore a coral reef, or travel to space. This redefines the learning task of obtaining information about a topic and requires higher-order thinking skills because learners will actively engage and make decisions within the virtual environment. They may need to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information presented to them in order to make informed choices and complete tasks. Redefinition is the highest level of the SAMR model and provides the most significant change to the learning experience.

In short, the SAMR model provides a framework for educators to understand how technology can be integrated into their teaching practice. By utilizing this model, teachers can explore different ways of using technology to enhance and transform the learning experience for their students. For instance, traditional tools like textbooks can be adapted to incorporate higher-order thinking skills and engage students in more meaningful ways. It is important to note that the SAMR model should not be seen as a linear progression, but rather a tool for generating a variety of rich tasks that redesign traditional ways of learning. Ultimately, technology presents unique opportunities for teachers to enrich their teaching and provide students with experiences that would be impossible without it.


Anderson, O. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). Taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives (Abridged Edition). Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Cummings, C. (2014). Teacher Created Prescriptive Interactive Content (TCPIC), SAMR, and Modernizing Remediation in Social Science Education. Journal of Social Studies Research Conference Proceedings, 37-39.

Kirkland, A. B. (2014). Models for technology integration in the learning commons. School Libraries in Canada, 32(1), 14-18.

Suprapto, E. (2017). The application of problem-based learning strategy to increase high order thinking skills of senior vocational school students. International Education Studies, 10(6), 123-129.

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