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|The TPaCK framework is like using the right tools for the job. Photo by Flickr user OZinOH|
What is TPaCK?
- Instructional Planning Activity Types as Vehicles for Curriculum-Based TPACK Development
- Or simply Google it ;)
Choosing the Right Tool
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.
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).
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."
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.
P.S. Have you heard of the TPaCK framework? How has it improved your teaching? Reply in the comments.