Sunday, March 10, 2013

Technology Integration through TPaCKing #edtech

The TPaCK framework is like using the right tools for the job.  Photo by Flickr user OZinOH

What is TPaCK?


TPaCK is an acronym for Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge.  It is a technology integration framework that brings all aspects of the classroom together.  But the purpose of this post is not to inform of what it exactly is, but rather to reflect on how I may use this framework in my own classroom in order to better integrate technology into my curriculum.  So if you wish to know more, visit these links:

In a blog post by Mark Fijor, he uses a great analogy when integrating technology.  I'll let you read the whole post, but he emphasizes that teachers need to focus on the task first, then choose the tool accordingly.  As a teacher in an English classroom, it doesn't make sense to use Garageband to have my students type their research paper.  The tool has to fit the task.

TPaCKing My Curriculum


In my own classroom, I have always tried to keep this in the forefront of my curriculum.  When relating this to the TPaCK framework, my classroom would look like this:

Technology Knowledge: Depends on the task, but could be a number of things.
Pedagogical Knowledge: Lots of reading comprehension and literacy strategies, although I feel I'm adding to this every day. 
Content Knowledge: A 4-year degree in English, but learning much more through experience.  

This video is an example of how I consider these three Knowledges in order to fuse them together.  I also write about this particular activity in this blog post.


Applying TPaCK


In developing this activity, I first considered the goal I want the students to achieve.  I wanted them to look at a particular part of Ch. 6 in Huck Finn more critically (Content Knowledge).  I also wanted them to learn a new strategy when attempting to understand confusing parts of a text - a strategy that includes drawing (Pedagogy).  Now that I have established the tasks necessary, I then choose the "tool" that allows the goals to happen more seamlessly.  In this case I used QR codes that contain the text needed.  I also have students use their iPads and an app called QR Scanner to collect the text.  Then they use another app called Notability to synthesize the information into a drawing as well as a typed hypothesis (Technology).  And all of this, of course exists within a junior level English classroom (Context).

TPaCK School Wide


How do you get your entire teaching staff to think within the TPaCK framework?  Professional Development is key.  In another one of his posts, Fijor suggests focusing on a handful of tools throughout the school year and how to integrate them into each teacher's curriculum in order to suit the necessary task.  Doing this can help alleviate some of the stress that is felt by teachers to "master" as many technology tools as possible.  This can lead to resistance and eventual failure of the technology's sustainability in education.  Punya Mishra, Matthew J. Koehler, and Kristen Kereluik discuss this issue in their article "The Song Remains the Same: Looking Back to the Future of Educational Technology."

Final Thoughts


The TPaCK framework really helps an educator understand what to consider when applying all of his or her Knowledges.  It brings together what a teacher knows in order to make the lesson more effective.  It is also a good framework to use when taking inventory of your own Knowledges.  If one area seems weak, then you know where to spend your professional development or required coursework for licensure renewal.  

If you're an educator looking to improve yourself, I recommend looking at the TPaCK framework.

Mr. Bormann
English Rocks!

P.S. Have you heard of the TPaCK framework?  How has it improved your teaching?  Reply in the comments.

5 Responses so far.

  1. rugglesr says:

    Jarod - Love your blog post here about TPACK. I wonder, in looking at the QR example, if technology was a key component in that lesson or if it took a backseat to the learning? I think sometimes we get wrapped up in making sure that we use a high level of technology that sometimes we just need to step back and understand that pure substitution is just fine. In this example, however, I think it totally rocked. However, at other times are we forcing technology or apps into place when there is a more low tech way to achieve the same solution? Just curious what you have seen and read. In another subject, I really found "The Song Remains..." article very interesting. What additional thoughts or insights did you have from this reading?

    -Randon

  2. Heather says:

    Jarod- Great blog post and showing how you are integrating technology within your classroom. Have you noticed your students are eager to learn and explore since the use of the iPads. Do you think the technology had something to do with this or rather how you are approaching your lessons. I would have to agree with you that if a teacher is looking to incorporate technology within their classroom they need to take a look at the TPACK model to provide them guidance.

  3. Great post Jarod. TPACK is very much finding the right tool for the job. Sometimes the right tool for the job may simply be a low tech tool or a substitution like Randon suggested. The suggestion of focusing on a few tools at a time and offering suggestions for how to use those tools in the different content areas is exactly what many teachers need. Having to come up with ideas on their own is sometimes too overwhelming for them, especially if they are not familiar with the technologies out there.

  4. amins says:

    Jarod, I love reading your material, all your work are well done, they show how much experience you have in technology field.Your students will be happy to gain this knowledge from you. I have when question to you as an experienced technology teacher, which concept of TPACK is more important?

  5. Dr. Z says:

    AMAZING video!!! You really showed what TPACK is all about. Your intraspection about the use of TPACK will be useful for your future teaching. I look forward to seeing how you make a difference in your faculty.

Leave a Reply