Friday, November 11, 2011

What is TPACK? Is it useful?

This week, I took the time to research TPACK, formerly known as TPCK. For those of you that don't know what this is, TPACK stands for: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. TPACK allows educators to really look at the effects of integrating instructional technology into the curriculum. In order to really visualize such effects, TPACK also looks into nature of teacher knowledge. The following model is a demonstrates a graphic organizer displaying the framework of TPACK and teacher knowledge:

TPACK Image (rights free)
This Venn Diagram examines how each of these, Technological Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge, and Content Knowledge, are equally important and interconnected. In order to comprehend the value of this diagram, it is important to understand each of these concepts.
Technology Knowledge (TK) describes the educators' knowledge of basic technologies such as textbooks, overheads, and blackboards. It also looks into educators' knowledge of more advance technologies such as internet and digital videos. In this digital era, there is a great deal more of technology to use in classrooms. It is important for educators to stay on top of these new advances as a way to keep the curriculum current and relevant. Not only should educators be able to utilize standard software such as microsoft word and internet browsers, they also need to be educated on how to install and remove software programs. Because of this increasing expectation, school districts are requiring teachers to participate in continue education classes and professional development days that focus on increasing technological knowledge.
Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) examines the methods of teaching. It looks, in depth, at the overall purpose of education and its values. By looking into educational purposes, we are able to determine techniques and methods that are effective in the classroom. These methods are constantly evaluated and changed to meet the needs of each targeted audience. It is vital that educators understand the biological, cognitive, social developments of the age groups they are teaching. By comprehending these developmental theories aides teachers when designing teaching methods for his or her classroom.
Content Knowledge examines educators' actual knowledge of the topic or subject matter. In the state of Colorado, teachers are expected to be "highly qualified" in their field. As proof, passing the Place or Praxis test demonstrates the teachers' knowledge. If teachers do not know the content, it can be detrimental to students' education.
Technological Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge, and Content Knowledge are equally important, but it is just as vital to understand they work together as well. TPK, otherwise known as Technological Pedagogical Knowledge, looks into the ability to use effective technological strategies in the classroom. These can include wikis, blogs, WebQuests, teaching resources through websites, digital gradebooks, and many others.
Technological Content Knowledge, TCK, really examines the knowledge of current and relevant technologies used in the classroom. By using some of these newer resource tools such as iPads, Smartboards, and others can expand and enhance the students' content knowledge as well as the learning experience.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge, PCK, proves that both teaching methods and teacher knowledge of content definitely are interrelated and equally important! PCK connects the teacher's knowledge of content as well as "how" to teach it. It educators don't understand both content and methods, then students may not receive an effective learning experience. Lack of content causes misrepresentations of the subject matter. Lack of pedagogy skills causes even more misrepresentations of the learning experience. If you have both working together and working together effectively, then we call that good teaching!
Once PCK and TPK are combined together and design TPACK, this creates the tools and framework to an effective and GREAT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT!!!

Koehler, M. (2011, May 13). TPACK - Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge. Retrieved from:

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