Monday 28 March 2016

Module 4: Models of teacher knowledge incorporating ICT pedagogy

I have come across TPACK in numerous educational situations as well numerous other courses for this master. TPACK is a framework that supports the integration of technology for effective classroom teaching. It combines technological, pedagogical and content knowledge as a way of thinking to support teachers in ensuring the use of technology is appropriate, thoughtful and effective during the planning stages (Mishra, & Koehler, 2006). As a technology coach, my expertise lies in technological/pedagogical knowledge (TPK), where I support teachers in integrating technology for their specific content in a specific content. It is also important that I balance when digital technologies are appropriate and maybe not so appropriate to ensure that teachers move beyond just using a tool.
I think TPACK is a good starting point for teachers who are learning and evaluating how they are integrating technology into their classes but it needs to push their thinking even further. Technology should allow new learning opportunities that would not have been possible before (Mishra & Koeler, 2008).
The SAMR model for technology integration to help teachers understand that technology can reach many levels of higher-order thinking and create opportunities for our students to use technology to do things that traditional methods failed to allow for. As technology use moves up the chart, it moves from enhancing the learning experience to truly transforming the experience for students. With the SAMR model, it is understood that the use of technology may vary across all four but it is important for teachers to think about what the real purpose is of the technology. If teachers are only ever using technology for substitution, is this really a good use of technology? Would the students simply be able to not use technology and achieve the same desired learning outcomes? When we move towards modification and redefinition, we are allowing students to develop their critical thinking and creativity skills as they show their learning and understanding in new and complex ways.  
The more we think about technology integration through TPACK and SAMR the more our students will be able to have meaningful learning experiences.TPACK focuses more about planning for technology integration within a context, whereas SAMR focuses on how technology is changing the learning experience. When technology, pedagogy and content knowledge all exist, it is about understanding the balance with the ever changing technology to ensure that best practice of teaching is always being exemplified in the classroom (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
For me, the biggest need for teachers who want to integrate technology is a growth mindset. Teachers need to be willing to learn and make mistakes. It is only from here that we can reflect and move forward to better our teaching practice for our students. We need to be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things and new tools to get the job done. We need to be open to letting our students take the lead and be okay with the role of the teacher adapting with it. With a growth mindset, we can be open to new and exciting opportunities, which includes how we integrate ICT.
Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK)?. Contemporary issues in technology and teacher education, 9(1), 60-70.
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054.
Mishra & Koehler (2008). Keynote address [YouTube]. Available from

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