The SAMR model was not invented as a way to classify apps. This poster continues to be circulated widely among educators over the past few years. Unfortunately, it also continues to perpetuate a misunderstanding of the SAMR model.
I use this poster and others regularly in professional learning workshops as a provocation. Discussion about the possible merits of the poster and its accuracy are very instructional. However, in the end, the poster is misleading.
The SAMR model is one possible way to think about how technology is used within a given instructional design. There are ample resources, videos and presentations online about the SAMR model and how to use it, not the least of which are those of its creator, Ruben R. Puentedura, on his blog.
However, this graphic seems to suggest that the apps pictured can only be used at certain levels of the SAMR model. Nothing could be further from the truth. Also, there is no indication of an original task. You cannot classify the way an app (or any technology) is used within the SAMR model without a context and none of the apps pictured are contextualized in any way.
In fact, this graphic is one person’s arbitrary estimation of what app might be applicable at some given SAMR tier within some given context. Any one of these apps could be used at any level. It’s not which app that’s important; it’s how an app is used.
For example, I have seen the Educreations app used in a large number of different contexts and at all four levels of the SAMR model. It all depends on the original task and how the app was integrated within the instructional design. I would even go so far as to assert that each and every one of these apps could be used at any of the SAMR model tiers.