TPack Model for Tech Integration

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.


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

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

23 years ore 23 seconds – to rebuild a house of learning?

THE Daily Mail, reports a story in which a little old lady in the UK, spent 23 years dismantling every brick and beam in her house and moving it 100 miles. She wanted to preserve it, and saw the need for this long before local council policy forced it upon her. If a little old lady,  so persistent for so long; can reach that goal – what’s stopping anyone else trying. She overcame bureaucrats, physical and mental barriers and eventually achieved it. The idea of 23 Things for learning about technology has become web2.0 educator folklore. Schools are in an age where pedagogy can be shifted in 23 minutes and this story reminds me that persistence is better than pessimism or prejudice. Good practice does not mean radical, fast change, it requires conservation of what is good about learning.

I showed the story to a friend who commented “she’s obviously mad and got way too much time on her hands”. It is just so easy to make judgments and determinations in less than 23 seconds, which have long term impacts on those we teach and the very place we call ‘work’. If we avoid risks, we may well miss opportunity. Just one tool presents multiple ways to learn in new ways. We have come a long way educational technology; but such a short way in educational reform. There is both apathy and passion in the idea of preserving formal education as a relevant, realistic experience for learners. The real question is, which parts are worth saving – given that we’re moving it brick by brick to a new location regardless of the ‘yeah buts’. If you  believe education is be changed by technology, you will find like-minded ‘owner builders’ and plenty of rich ideas in places such as Classroom 2.0. Being able to pull down your house and move it is harder than unlearning and relearning basic uses of ICT in the classroom, but ideologically is presented by some as just as formidable a challenge.

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Diigo – The power of collaborative thought

Shirky posted a very ‘oh my god’ post about the future of newspapers, weaving though it the problems faced by organisations when old ideas don’t work in new dimensions. This post becomes far more engaging for Diigo users, as there are numerous highlights though the text, with associated comments from people like Clary Burrell, who add the ‘educational’ dimension to the writing. At the time I read it, I think the blog post was up to about 900 comments with ping-backs, but the commentary though Diigo is something that I really value – when looking at the ‘power blogs’ like Shirky or Godin. Viewing the web with Internet Explorer and not Firefox is a little like listening to mono songs, verses surround sound these days. You miss the ‘spacial’ nature of the information.

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Diigo is a great ‘classroom’ tool – given the ability to sign on whole classes and the ability to not only bookmark and classify information, but to offer collaborative reflection. It is another tool that requires very little adaption of the standard network in schools, not does it pose a safety issue – and allows teachers to scaffold learning pathways. Teaching Diigo for pedagogy should be manditory professional learning in my view – and without doubt – any Web2.0 workshop needs to show just how powerful it can be when properly aligned in curriculum.

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