Friday, May 4, 2018

Start with the Why: TPACK

This post is a script for a podcast episode I am making for a course. This transcript is slightly different from the recording.

Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by


Unlike other frameworks, TPACK has the educator examine possible technology integration lessons from three different lenses - pedagogical, content knowledge, and technical.

I first heard about TPACK in 2015 while I was taking Coaching Digital Learning | Cultivating a Culture of Change through The Friday Institute. Immediately could see that it was a good support to what I knew about evaluating technology integration and could work nicely with the SAMR model.

TPACK differs from other technology integration frameworks that I know in that it forces the teacher to consider different pieces of knowledge before getting started.


The TPACK considers technology integration through the three lenses of Technological Knowledge, Content Knowledge, and Pedagogical Knowledge.

Technological Knowledge
I first understood this, or remembered this as, "The technological knowledge piece of the framework requires you to evaluate yourself based on how well you know the [technology] you want students to use." That didn't sound right to me because how would the teacher then give the student a choice in which tool to use? Looking back at (on the page, What is TPACK?), I was relieved to see that I was wrong. Technological Knowledge looks at how well the teacher knows how to use technology as well as different ways of thinking about technology use. Most important in my opinion is "being able to recognize when information technology can assist or impede the achievement of a goal." (Koehler & Mishra, 2009 via

Content Knowledge
Content Knowledge is how well you know the content you are teaching and how it differs from year to year in the curriculum. 

Pedagogical Knowledge
Pedagogical Knowledge is how well you, as a teacher, understand teaching methods and ways students learn.

In addition, there are four additional areas where these circles of knowledge intersect. They are Technical Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), Technical Content Knowledge (TCK), Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), and Technical Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). All these are wrapped in what context you are teaching and what the students are like.


I don't see TPACK as a ladder or as a way of moving up a scale, rather, I see the TPACK model as a way for teachers to assess themselves and look for opportunities to "collaborate with teachers at your school or within your Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)" (What is the TPACK Model?). This is where I see both the strength of TPACK and its weakness.

I really like the idea of teachers working together. When teachers work together ideas flow and new ideas can be created. On the other hand, I have worked in schools where collaboration is not easy. A teacher might be in a small school and not have a teacher or a coach they can work with. This is where I think teachers need to take matters into their own hands and reflect using the TPACK and SAMR models themselves and get connected with other teachers online.

Using technology with students is easy, but integrating technology purposefully is not and takes time. Using frameworks like TPACK can help you become more in tune with what you are doing.

Information gained from the following sources
TPACK in 3 Minutes
What is the TPACK Model?

Note 2 - I found out after making this fictional podcast that there already is one called Start With the Why.  Too bad it only ran 16 episodes.

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