TPCK

Hey everyone! It’s Christie. I’ve just finished my Masters Degree in Instructional Technology and I’ve done a lot of research on TPCK. If you’ve never heard of it don’t be alarmed. I hadn’t heard of it until I was in school, but it is a great mindset to keep while teaching with technology.

Here is a little more information on TPCK: TPACK_hi_res_image

The TPCK Framework is a cohesive approach to teaching with technology. It builds a technology piece onto Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge. There are three parts of the TPCK Framework. They are Technology Knowledge, Pedagogy Knowledge, and Content Knowledge. At the heart of TPCK is the idea that these concepts need to be studied together, not just independently, for successful teaching. Schools might have professional development on iPads, a technology, and another professional development on enrichment, an element of pedagogy, but then teachers would be left to make connections between these areas on their own. That is where TPCK comes in.
Each element of TPCK is an important part of education. Technology Knowledge is the ability to operate different technologies such as computers, projectors, iPads, and different software. Pedagogy Knowledge is how to teach. It asks what are different ways you can convey knowledge to your students. Content Knowledge is knowledge about the subjects you teach. This might be the skeletal system, multiplication tables, Ancient Romans, or proper nouns.
There are distinct relationships between each of the components in the TPCK Framework. This is the essential part that many teachers and schools leave out. When you have both technology and pedagogy you know how to use technology to support your teaching. You have the teaching skills to use technology effectively in the classroom. With technology and content together you know how to operate the technology and you know how it relates to your content area. When content and pedagogy come together you have the skills to be able to teach that content area. Finally, the three pieces meet in the middle. When this happens, you understand how technology, content, and pedagogy work together to support good teaching. You are an expert in your content area, you know how to successfully convey that knowledge of content to your students, and you can integrate technology into your instruction in a meaningful way.
When you are lacking these relationships between the different components you get not fully rounded teachers. Teachers with years of experience might have strong pedagogy, but may not have knowledge about some technology tool. Teachers with little teaching experience, but knowledge of technology tools may not know how to successfully use those tools in the classroom. And masters in their content knowledge may not know how to teach that content knowledge to other people.
I think that implementing the TPCK Framework in my classroom and at my school will not be difficult. TPCK is a way of thinking about teaching with technology. Using the three aspects of TPCK is just best practices in everyday teaching. All teachers aspire to be masters in their content areas, to know how to teach well, and know about the latest instructional technology tools available. The only difference is the TPCK mindset that the three pieces are not mutually exclusive.
I can take several steps towards using TPCK in my classroom. I think simply being aware of the TPCK Framework will help me to be cognicent of how I am integrating technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge in my instruction. I will definitely be bringing up the TPCK Framework at my next school technology team meeting, and also with my grade level team. Just teaching my teams about it and being able to discuss it with my coworkers will help us all to become better teachers.
Bibliography
Fijor, M. (2011, October 21). TPACK in action. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from  NewSchool Technology website: http://www.newschooltechnology.org/2011/10/tpack-in-action/
Kimmons, R. (2011, March 22). TPACK in 3 minutes [Video file]. Retrieved from    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0wGpSaTzW58
Koehler, M. (2011, May 13). What is TPACK? Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://www.tpack.org/
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