Doing What You Can with What You Have
You might be asking, “What in the world is TPACK?” TPACK refers to Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. As explained in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (2019), TPACK is a framework designed by Dr. Matthew Koehler and Dr. Punya Mishra. First, you need some vocabulary through the lens of education. Content knowledge refers to knowledge of what is going to be taught. Pedagogical knowledge is how it’s going to be taught. Technological knowledge is knowing what kind of technology and resources will be used. All of these areas of expertise work together to create the TPACK framework (Koehler, 2017).
For more information regarding the TPACK Framework, visit http://www.tpack.org/
If you can believe it, educators go through hundreds of these decisions in one day of instruction. They innovate when they don’t have what they need. They reimagine concepts when they are given resources that don’t align with their lessons. They simply make it work!
I was actually put up to a TPACK challenge. At the mercy of my guest from the audience, I had to make a fruit salad with items he gave me: a small plate, a condiment bowl and tongs. Less than ideal tools if you ask me! It reminded me of the bigger picture in my instruction. Each time I introduce content, I have to think- What do my students need to know? What resources do I have that can support their understanding? I don’t always have what would support me but I make it work. Part of TPACK is knowing that you are making the best instructional choices with what you have. I call it “doing what you can, with what you have”.
While I don’t think this is my audition tape for the Food Network, maybe you learned something along with me.
DeLaurence N. (2020, May 19). TPACK Kitchen. [Video]. https://youtu.be/th5gyu36c7g
Koehler, M. (2017, March 8). TPACK Explained. TPACK. http://www.tpack.org/
Master of Arts in Educational Technology (2020, Summer). Course content from Unit 3: Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). Michigan State University, CEP 810: Teaching for understanding with technology. https://d2l.msu.edu.
Mishra, P., (2018). Revised version of TPACK image. https://punyamishra.com/2018/09/10/the-tpack-diagram-gets-an-upgrade/