Technology at part of teaching and learning should not be the default position in schools (anything that starts off as engaging due to novelty will eventually become tedious for students as it becomes the new norm); there is a need for a framework teachers can use and think about (appropriate) use of technology which I intend to cover in the next blog post or two.
There are quite a few different frameworks for technology integration into teaching and learning and the first one I actually came across was the TPACK model which builds on the original Shulman model (shown above) but adding in a technological aspect.
In the original Shulman model, there is a distinction between two types of knowledge that teachers need to master:
- Content knowledge (CK) - also known as "deep" knowledge of the subject itself
- Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) - Knowledge of curricular development
Where these two types of knowledge intersect, we have Pedagogical Content Knowledge which is the best ways teachers can represent and formulate a subject to make it understandable to others (Shulman, 1986). This can include an understanding of what makes the learning of specific topics easy or difficult: the conceptions and preconceptions that students of different ages and backgrounds bring with them to the learning of those most frequently taught topics and lessons.
TPACK adds another circle of detail to reflect a possible digital influence on teaching and learning with Technological Knowledge (TK) - the ability to understand "information technology broadly enough to apply it productively at work and in their everyday lives, recognize when information technology can assist or impede the achievement of a goal, and to continually adapt to changes in information technology." (Koehler and Punya Mishra, 2009).
- Technological Content Knowledge Technology (TCK)
- Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)
Technological Content Knowledge Technology (TCK)
TCK is understanding how technology and content can influence and constrain each other. Teachers need to be very familiar with the Content Knowledge they are teaching and by understanding this, they can be aware of which technologies are best suited for different subject topics and how particular content is best enhanced by using technology; the content being taught can very much limit the type of technology that can be used.
Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)
TPK is understanding how teaching and learning can change when particular technologies are used; this means that teachers need to understand the technology and the contexts (and this is where School Wide CPD is particularly effective in sharing ideas and it's great to take an idea from a Maths lesson and adapt it to then apply it in a humanities class!).
This is where the creative teacher can be given freedom to look at software programs such as the Microsoft Office (or other applications which are designed for business environments) and Web-based technologies (such as blogs or podcasts) and question their use! Teachers have the opportunity to develop skills that look way beyond what the most common uses for technologies are and reconfigure them for customized pedagogical purposes.
Thus, the use of TPACK encourages a forward-looking, creative, and open-minded questioning of technology use, not the use of technology just for its own sake but for the sake of advancing student learning and understanding.
For a quick video on TPACK (see below)
What Is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge? by Matthew J. Koehler and Punya Mishra