What is TPACK? How Does it Relate to Common Core Standards?
How do I reach the goal of the seemingly alchemistical curvilinear triangle formed by three overlapping circles?
Juggling three is exponentially harder than juggling two.
TPACK is a framework for an educational approach to combine Technological, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge. In other words, how to combine Tech hardware and software (computers, digital cameras, tablets, programs, browser extensions, Web 2.0 tools, etc.) with the approach to instruction (direct explicit instruction, flipped classrooms, inquiry-based) to effectively support students’ acquisition of our class content?
If you imagine each as a circle, our job is to nudge those circles closer until each overlap, forming this “curvilinear triangle”--labeled "TPACK" in the illustration above.
I am old enough to remember the pride taken by administrators when unveiling the new COMPUTER LABS that would revolutionize teaching! I doubt the experience at our school differs greatly from many other schools’ computer labs: limited useful software, beyond “educational” games, limited internet access (connectivity remains an ongoing challenge at our school), students discovering a mini-superball, once the ring was removed from the mouse, rendering worthless, and just the wear-tear-of dozens of students sharing equipment.
I recall a story from when I first started teaching at Silverado. The head of the English department at a high school was thrilled, giddy even, at having hired a Rhodes scholar! Quite a feather in the cap of that department head. Expertise in a field, however, doesn’t make a teacher. The school soon hired a tutor to teach the Rhode scholar how to teach.
And content? Where to start? The cinder block English anthologies issued to students are ambitious in their scope--has anyone actually covered the suggested pacing calendar?
But the times they are a-changin.
I started my action research work looking at what digital tools could support my students as they continued to develop their writing skills. I admit, as this was my first experimental research paper, my decision was influenced by my desire to have a successful outcome with the procedure. I wanted something with a high probability of success.
Of the three components of TPACK, content knowledge is where my strength lies, therefore, the "what we teach" is where I start, and as I work towards infusing technology into my classroom, and consider how those devices and software support the work of my students, I am trying to nudge those circles a bit closer each time, trying to grow that curvilinear triangle.