Saturday, March 9, 2013

TPACK=Total Package

A colleague asked me this week what I was studying within my Masters Program, so I explained TPACK? TPACK is a framework for YOU, and is designed to aide the integration of technology into teaching and learning. Based on Shulman's theory of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), this new framework also draws on recent research into teacher's influences of the current technology climate within the classroom (reference available here). 


Pedagogy, Content, and Technology are recognized as individually important concepts, in which teachers must be competent in order to teach effectively. The overlaps between teacher area are also important, with the area in the middle of the diagram (where all three knowledges overlap) being the desired outcome for educators through the TPACK framework. 

Take a look at this  TPACK video by Royace Kimmons  using a 3- circle venn diagrams to explain the relationship of each domain.

How does this pertain to YOU as teacher?
Source: Too Cool for School? No Way!
Mark Fijor, a professional development instructor in the Arlington Heights, Illinois school district, created a  rich and thoughtful set of blog posts that explain how his district is using TPACK-based ideas and practices district-wide in professional development efforts. In his first post, he explains: our district has done a phenomenal job of providing teachers and students with access to technology. In addition, his teachers are exposed to a wide variety of tools through in-services and conferences outside of the district. However, with this access and knowledge comes the idea of overexposure. Teachers are finding there are many different tools available for a task, and because of this, many are unsure of which is the best tool. Teachers are free to explore on their own and use a variety of tools, but this is limited to those who are truly interested about learning on their own and experimenting. When these tools are shared with staff, many of the teachers are left to wonder how the tools apply to what they are doing in the classroom, or are overwhelmed by the amount of resources available. It is from these dilemmas that Mark Fijor developed a framework and a series of guidelines that address the idea of systemic technology integration. In professional development with his teachers and administrators from various districts and experience levels, he believes the following series of post will address many of the concerns and problems with technology integration in schools. 
Take a look at how Mark Fijor implemented the TPACK model to his staff during a series of Professional Development:
  1. TPACK and Systemic Technology Integration
  2. TPACK and Systemic Technology Integration - Part Two
  3. TPACK and Systemic Integration - Focus Tools 
  4. TPACK and Systemic Integration - Affordances and Constraints
  5. TPACK and Systemic Integration - The Four C's of Tech Integration

So what area of the TPACK framework do you live in as a 21st Century educator?


  1. Heather - I think that reading through Mark's stuff was some of the most helpful, informative material on the TPACK model. Even more important was his idea to narrow down the tools (Lesson Three). I think that if educators were able to do this they would be less overwhelmed on a daily basis with everything out there and more able to actually focus on mastery in the other two areas. Make sense or am I crazy? Also, how do you at H-W practice Lesson Three?


    1. Randon - I agree with you in that it makes sense. Right now we don't have a common practice for integrating technology. But in time I hope to have this changed. A great analogy is its like a fire hydrant that floods the staff with tools to utilize within their classroom. With arming the staff with the TPACK model and the technology matrix they will all be able to feel like they are all on the same playing field.

  2. Heather-
    I have been thinking of how I would share TPACK with others. When I attended the AEA class on TPACK, I left not really understanding it, until I did some reading on my own (with Dr.Z's help) And I think if I was going to help people understand a theoretical concept like TPACK, I would incorporate the information from Mark's website. Thanks for a nice post.

  3. You did a good overview of TPACK. Glad to see that you are explaining it with your colleagues. It is great to see that it is making sense and you see the application.