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I encountered this at MICDS, the TPACK model for teaching – Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. TPACK is “a way of thinking about the knowledge teachers need to understand to integrate technology effectively into their classrooms (Mishra & Koehler, 2008).” Teachers who exhibit best practices with technology are “creative, flexible, and adapt ways in which they navigate the constraints, affordances, and interactions within TPACK framework. (Mishra & Koehler, 2008).”

While we often talk about the integration of technology into learning, this simple diagram clearly illustrates the complexity and consideration that is required to do so. This model does not include the more debatable concepts in connectivism brought into play by the maturation of convergence of social media.

In order to realise this TPACK model, it clearly falls to those ‘professional developers’ and ‘leaders’ who have access to schools and teachers to carefully model how to bring about this holistic embedding of technology in teaching strategy – and not focus on integrating supplied technology into existing frameworks.

Without serious investigation of teaching method (Project Based Learning for example), and asking the hard questions about formative assessment and differentiated learning, many issues will remain. Where this requirement for better craft-performance is optional, where little time and money is invested in people and while the philosophy (cognitive apprenticeship – though it’s linear scope, sequence and test) dominates the belief of senior executives – this is a very hard diagram to realise.

However, I think it gives professional developers and instructional designers a clear view of what we need to deliver holistically – and the need to avoid banging on about any one technology or tool. For me, the wrapper to enable this is Project Based Learning – or some variant, as without taking a holistic, balanced approach – be that an hour session or a year … we actually create further in-balances.

If we remove the contestable term ‘social media’ for a moment, I think TPACK will make a great deal more sense to teachers whom cannot avoid collision with technology in learning and teaching.

References

Koehler, M. & Mishra, P. (2008, March). Introducing technological pedagogical content knowledge. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, New York City, NY. Retrieved on July 19, 2008 from http://punya.educ.msu.edu/2008/03/11/tpack-aera-new-york/

Koehler, M. & Mishra, P. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. Retrieved on July 19, 2008 from http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=12516

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