Developing Teacher TPACK

I was reading over at drzreflects.com about his post on TPACK and it triggered a thought I have been thinking about a lot lately.  I often think about how poor much of the professional development we have in schools is, but I’ve often struggled to define what would make it better. I’ve been searching for a construct that would help me conceptualize what would constitute really good professional development. After reading more about TPACK lately and coming across Leigh’s post this morning, I thought I’d share my idea about developing a teacher’s TPACK. Here’s my comment:

Leigh,

When you mention how we implement TPACK in our teaching, you touched on a topic that has been in the front of my mind for some time now. I think as we consider about how TPACK can be implemented in practice, we have to think also about how teacher TPACK can be developed. I think there are at least two levels of TPACK implementation we can consider with regards to level of technology use in the classroom: integration and innovation. We have been integrating technology for a long time using TPACK whether or not we really knew we were. I view integration as happening once we make a decision to use technology and include it in instruction. We make a decision about a technology, which then makes a change in how we teach the content, the P and C. However, if we think of TPACK as a knowledge to be developed in teachers, I think we can reach technology innovation which is the creation of new types of learning experiences that wouldn’t have been possible without the technology. I believe there is a continuum between these two lenses if you will that teachers move along as they develop an awareness of TPACK. As the they develop each domain of knowledge: T, P, C, T, TP, TC, PCK, and TPACK, they can begin to see stronger connections between each domain and how each can be leveraged in the classroom to create new learning experiences.

As I think about how this type of knowledge development can be created, I go back to how Mishra and Koehler (2006) explain how they implemented it in masters courses. They called it learning by design, which reminds me of problem based learning. They had students work together in groups that were responsible for defining, designing and refining a solution to a problem over the course of a semester. As I look at how this can be applied to practicing teachers in PK-12 schools, I see great potential. But it requires professional development practices to change.

Not sure what I was hoping to accomplish with this comment, but your post spurred my thought process, so I wanted to share. Happy summer break!

Dan

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