Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) is a theoretical framework that can be used to examine how knowledge, technology and instruction intersect within learning environments. Developed by Dr. Matthew Koehler and Dr. Punya Mishra, faculty members at Michigan State University, this framework moves beyond discussions of technology integration and talks about technology innovation.
An important misconception that is addressed by the TPACK framework is the concept of what constitutes “technology”. Many of us would consider technology to include devices such as computers, phones, tablets, digital projects, SmartBoards, etc. Mishra and Koehler broaden this definition to include almost any device we use in the classroom – pencil, paper, chalkboards, whiteboards, books. These are all inventions and technologies that have been developed and have served to expand how knowledge is disseminated.
TPACK uses the concept of technology innovation as a critical basis of the framework. Technologies are often formed with an initial purpose, but as history progresses, the way they are used are transformed and manipulated to fit the needs to those who use it. For example: Photographs. Photos were initially meant to capture people, places and events for historical archive or art. Now, photos are used in a multiplicity of ways. I use photos as reminders, a communication device, for note taking, attendance, and more. We are innovating the ways that technologies are used to fit the needs present in our lives. As educators, we must do the same with technologies at our disposal. Though phones were created as communication tools, the smartphone provides limitless utilities and opportunities for our students.
To demonstrate how tools can be repurposed and “innovated” to fit any context, we did a little cooking – TPACK style. Check out the video below:
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. Retrieved from http://punya.educ.msu.edu/publications/journal_articles/mishra-koehler-tcr2006.pdf