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Thinking Critically about      Classroom Technologies using          the TPCK FrameworkMargaret G. Grotti – University of ...
TPCK: What is it and Why should Librarians Care?•   Technical Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) is a theoretical framew...
-TPCK In Action-                                                                                                          ...
Using TPCK in Your LibraryNow that you’ve seen how TPCK can support the process of selecting instructional technologies, t...
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Thinking Critically about Classroom Technologies using the TPCK Framework


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Margaret G. Grotti (University of Delaware) and I (University of Colorado Denver) presented this as a poster session at the American Library Association's Annual Conference 2012. TPCK framework is currently used to select technologies for teaching in K-12 settings. We have adapted this useful set of tools for use in academic libraries. We hope that our colleagues around the world will find it useful for selecting classroom technologies.

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Thinking Critically about Classroom Technologies using the TPCK Framework

  1. 1. Thinking Critically about Classroom Technologies using the TPCK FrameworkMargaret G. Grotti – University of Delaware / Karen Sobel – University of Colorado Denver
  2. 2. TPCK: What is it and Why should Librarians Care?• Technical Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) is a theoretical framework that explores the complex interaction among three bodies of knowledge: content, pedagogy, and technology.• Developed and promoted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education• The main objective of TPCK: to help instructors select and integrate technologies into their teaching. The framework can be adapted to individual teachers’ strengths’ and groups’ instructional needs.• TPCK focuses on empowering teachers to design their own lessons and other curricula. Rather than respond to top-down pressure to adopt a hot new technology, librarians can use this model to carefully consider the unique affordances and constraints of each technology. Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. Looking outside of libraries… Who already uses TPCK?(examples from the Handbook of TPCK for Educators)• Teacher educators have integrated it into training for new K-12 teachers.• Experienced instructors are being taught to use it to guide improvisation in the classroom.• Math educators use it to guide selection of software, graphing calculators, and math lab equipment.• Visual arts educators use it for selecting interactive online collections of art. They also use it to incorporate technologies for creating graphic and web-based art.
  3. 3. -TPCK In Action- Content Knowledge: Content Knowledge: • Be thoroughly versed in the • Discuss ‘balanced’ research resources the students will use. topics that are neither too • Consider which databases that broad nor too narrow. will be appropriate for this level • Discuss database constraints of reader. Pedagogical Knowledge: Technology Knowledge: • Active learning increases retention and Pedagogical Knowledge: Technology Knowledge: • Before class, identify features to • Become confident teaching both the confidence. • Need to know PollEverywhere’s • Examining their classmates’ authentic focus on. content of this lesson (search strategies functions and constraints research topics will increase students’ • Make sure that the computers in Academic OneFile) and the technology backwards and forwards! motivation to share ideas. are configured appropriately. (Google Docs) • Turning this into a self-directed activity • Consider additional basic tech • Develop a strong lesson plan that clearly will lessen the amount of time spent links the content and the technology. skills students will need (e.g. how to discussing topics with individuals. open a new browser window). -TPCK-• Students enter their topics into PollEverywhere before class. Class examines the research topics. -TPCK-• Students discuss a topic that seems overly broad and suggest ways to narrow it for successful searching. The first 15 minutes of class is spent teaching students to use Google Docs. Later, when students are• Students discuss one topic that seems overly narrow and suggest ways that it could be broken down into performing research with Academic OneFile, I ask students to create a Google Doc detailing their search separate searches or otherwise broadened. strategies. I use this document to review their search strategies and provide suggestions before the next• Instructor provides guidance throughout and assesses the class’s ability to grasp the core concept. class. After the assignment, the regular class instructor polls them about whether Google Docs and my feedback assisted in their learning. Content Knowledge: • Creating clicker-based activities Content Knowledge: to monitor comprehension in the • Searching in a catalog classroom throughout a given • Navigating a catalog library instruction session. • Reading a call number Pedagogical Knowledge: Technology Knowledge: While different kinds of compre- • 14 reference librarians need to learn hension checks can be used, clickers limit the available types of class interaction. Technology Knowledge: Pedagogical Knowledge: to use this technology smoothly. • Clickers will need to be set up in the Because of the time constraints of a 50-minute • General fluency with information • Increasing retention and classroom before each class. class, librarians using clickers would technology confidence w/an activity • Students will need to be taught how to use be unable to address other learning styles. • Knowing basic constraints of • Connecting new skills to previous clickers. The benefits of this technology do using iPads library experiences not apply well to a one-shot session in • Clarifying any points of which librarians do not grade student participation or keep attendance. misunderstanding -TPCK- -TPCK- • Visual aids available via the online guide made the process easier to break down and learn, despite language barriersThe areas of TPCK are not in harmony in this scenario. While the technology is attractive, it does experienced in class. • Activity increased engagement; allowed students to work together and coach one another, technology kept the groupsnot fit the pedagogical approach that we have adopted, and its affordances do not apply well to together, as they had to share the iPad between them.our scenario. • Students reported high levels of confidence after having found an item in their group. • Students were interested in exploring the technology! Had to work harder to keep the class moving forward.
  4. 4. Using TPCK in Your LibraryNow that you’ve seen how TPCK can support the process of selecting instructional technologies, think about how you might adapt it tostreamline your own work.Try developing a series of questions that you can ask yourself each time you evaluate a technology for potential use in the classroom.Your questions can follow the three major components of TPCK, then zoom in on TPCK itself. Define your goal for a given scenario. Technology Knowledge: Ask yourself what types of technological knowledge/skills you will need for a given scenario. Content Knowledge: Ask yourself what subject-specific information you will need to know to teach the class. Pedagogical Knowledge: Ask yourself what and how you will have to teach the students. Think broadly. TPCK: Put it all together. Ask yourself whether it is reasonable and worthwhile for you to put all of this together in the classroom In what ways will the technology open new possibilities for your lesson? In what ways will the technology constrain your ability to cover your content or teach in a pedagogically sound manner? Use TPCK to support your choices. When you want to discuss your decisions with your colleagues or request support for new technologies, TPCK can serve as a framework for discussion.Learn MoreHandbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for Educators. Ed. AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology.New York: Routledge, 2008.• A fairly comprehensive guide to using TPCK, with examples from many fields in educationSearch education databases such as ERIC or Education Full Text for recent examples of TPCK in action.Koehler, Dr. Matthew J. TPACK – Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge. 25 May 2012. <>.• Visit the TPCK community to learn about TPCK in great detail.• Learn what TPCK users are experimenting with at the moment.