Technology integration – TPACK as a Framework

By Associate Professor Petrea Redmond, University of Southern Queensland & Professor Jennifer Lock, University of Calgary

Over the last few decades, educational contexts have spent significant money on technology to enhance learning and teaching. Different sectors of education have pockets of innovation using technology for learning but we are yet to have a significant number of educators in any context effectively using technology enhanced learning in innovative, transformative and sustainable ways.

Effective teaching and learning with technology is complex and ill structured. Educators are balancing competing demands from different stakeholders and their own philosophy as they consider their learners, the learning context, the discipline content, the digital tools available, and the teaching and learning strategies they use to infuse technology into the learning process. When you add to this multifaceted problem, the time and professional learning required to update educators’ own knowledge and skills in those same areas, we should acknowledge that there is no simple one size fits all.

Educators can use TPACK (technological pedagogical content knowledge) as one of many models to conceptualise their use of technology (Koehler & Mishra, 2005) and the knowledge required for effective integration of technology into teaching and learning. As novice educators, pre-service teachers need to understand how technology, content and pedagogy inform and constrain each other through an interconnected relationship. It provides a forum for intentional design and integration of technology in teaching and learning.

This blog post reflects our AJET article which is in early release. The article investigated secondary pre-service teachers’ perceptions of TPACK. Although pre-service teachers had a positive attitude towards TPACK, they saw real-life experience and professional experience placements as key to their ongoing development of knowledge and skills for technology enhanced learning. Sadly, many of the examples pre-service teachers did see simply, replicated non-technology activities rather than innovative ways of using technology to transform curriculum and collaboration opportunities. Perhaps this is because it is difficult for educators at all levels to identify and implement pedagogical affordances of different technological tools (Angeli & Valanides, 2018).

The findings from this study give rise to a number of questions. How do educators in any context find exceptional examples of effective use of technology for enhanced learning? How can these examples be communicated to others and become mainstream approaches. Who provides the examples and the role modelling? Perhaps you’d like to come along to the ASCILITE conference to share examples and/or engage in professional conversations. We hope to see you there.

References

Angeli, C., & Valanides, N. (2018). Knowledge Base Information and Communication Technology in Education. In J. Voogt, G. Knezek, Christensend, R, and L. Kwok-Wing (Eds.), Second Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education (pp. 397-413). Switzerland: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-71054-9_26

Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2005). What happens when teachers design educational technology? The development of technological pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 32(2), 131–152.

For people who are interested in reading the open access AJET article ‘Secondary pre-service teachers’ perceptions of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK): What do they really think?’ it is available from https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.4214.

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