Thursday, February 16, 2017

Module 4: TPACK Makes a Difference.

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Learning is about more than content or pedagogy or technology.  It involves the uniting of these forces to create a learning experience where content knowledge is presented through technology using a pedagogy that best fits the subject matter.

As if this wasn't enough to boggle an educator's mind, the context within which it is being taught must also be considered.  It is this context that determines relevancy to the student.

This is called TPaCK. TPaCK stands for
  • Technology
  • Pedagogy
  • Content Knowledge
Understanding the Premise: This approach derives from Lee Shulman's work in the 80s when he introduced the notion of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK).  Shulman (1986) says "pedagogical content knowledge is of special interest because it identifies the distinctive bodies of knowledge for teaching. It represents the blending of content and pedagogy into an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and presented for instruction" (p. 8).

Pedagogic Content Knowledge by Dr. B -   A good way to learn about PCK is through Dr. Bilash's website. Review her work and watch her two short videos to see the connection between Pedagogy and Content Knowledge.  This may seem simple, but acknowledging the differences in the way a teacher understands content compared to a content expert is revealing.

Adding Technology to the PaCK: Acknowledging the connection between pedagogy and content knowledge, it is time to consider the medium through which this adapted content is presented/experienced. This medium is technology in the broadest sense of the word.  It doesn't have to "plug in." The best way to experience a Van Gogh painting is in the Musee de Orsay museum in Paris. If you happen to be visiting Paris sometime soon, that might be possible. If your future plans involve staying around the house a little more, then there are other avenues available to you. This is where you can use various forms of technology to fill the bill. You could enjoy Van Gogh's The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise through a Post-Impressionism book,  a Jigsaw Puzzlea 360-degree Panorama inside the church, a tour of the church and town, or even Wikipedia.

Whatever technology you select, it is the intersection of Pedagogy, Content Knowledge and Technology within a Context that will carry the message for the learner. It will determine the topic's relevance to the learner and ultimately learners' interest in remembering and using the new information.   

The key to the TPaCK method is examining the intersections between the domains. This would include Pedagogy-Content (PC), Technology-Content Knowledge (TC) and Technology-Pedagogy (TP). The most important point is the intersection of all of the domains TPC which we find at the middle of a 3-circle venn diagram.

This Low-Tech video explanation by RoyceKimmons is quite informative. He uses the 3-circle venn diagram to explain the relations of these domains.

 Here is another video to help reinforce the concept.
The best place to find out about TPaCK is at   This is an ever-growing website that contains a plethora of possible resources.

Is Technology Really All Important?
There are three parts to the TPACK model. Mishra, Koehler and Kereluik point out that while technologies change, the song remains the same.  What is it that prevents technology from changing education? Is it the technology or the educators' preference for doing things to sustain the status quo instead of making a difference?

Applying TPaCK to My Curriculum

This theory is just great, but what about practical application?  I can't get my head around how to make this happen in my classroom.  I understand that I must teach World War II events using a pedagogy that is relevant to my population of students and that it should be conveyed using technology that is meaningful and engaging with my students.  But is there a formula?                 Probably not!

Here are the musings of Mark Fijor, a technology coordinator in Chicago.  He does a good job of examining TPACK from a practical classroom and school district point of view.  As you read these postings, think of how these ideas have, are or might be integrated into your teaching situation. If you don't have a classroom consider how this can fit into a higher-education or corporate setting or retirement home setting - CONTEXTUALIZE.
  1. TPACK and Systemic Technology Integration
  2. TPACK and Systemic Technology Integration - Part Two
  3. TPACK and Systemic Integration - Focus Tools 
  4. TPACK and Systemic Integration - Affordances and Constraints
  5. TPACK and Systemic Integration - The Four C's of Tech Integration

Curriculum-Based Activity Types

Fijor uses the "electric drill" analogy. He also introduces Activity Types. Activity Types are the practical applications of the theoretical TPACK. They have been developed by a group of researchers including Judi Harris, Mark Hofer, Denise Schmidt and Ann Thompson.  

Activity Types are conceptual planning tools that assist educators in organizing and creating curriculum-based learning activities. Each activity type captures what is most essential about the structure of a particular kind of learning action as it relates to what students do when engaged in that particular learning-related activity (e.g., group discussion; role play; fieldtrip). They have been organized by placing them in taxonomies.

TPACK Taxonomies
Dr. Judi Harris and Mark Hofer wrote a series of articles about using their subject-based taxonomies for TPACKING classroom projects Learning and Leading with Technology.  (It is actually pgs 22 - 34.)

Harris, J., & Hofer, M. (2009). “Grounded” technology integration: Planning with curriculum-based learning activity types. Learning & Leading With Technology, 37(2), 22-25.

You can find a succinct table of the Activity Types arranged by Format of Expression in an article entitled:

Instructional Planning Activity Types as Vehicles for Curriculum-Based TPACK Development (.pdf)
More Specifically: The hierarchies used for 7 different subject areas are found on the William and Mary School of Education Activity Types wiki.  

Here is an example of how these activities have been used with a grammar lesson:

Using TPaCK to Teach Grammar in Middle School

Playing the TPACK GAME

The TPACK Game involves simulating the thought process that a typical teacher has to experience when s/he is making decisions about content, pedagogy and technology choices. It involves randomly selecting two of the choices and then making informed decisions about the third choice.  This would mean that if you are provided with the content and the pedagogy to use, you must make an informed decision about which technology to use.  

This game is usually played with game cards in a classroom.  Since this course is online, it is not possible to use this format.  We will use an online format, but first - let's have Lisa Hervey demonstrate how you can play the TPACK game using cups . . .

Another way that you can play this TPACK game is using playing cards.  Here is a link to Microsoft TPACK cards in case you want to download them and use them with your colleagues as you teach them about TPACK.

For our purposes, I have created a spreadsheet (The Ultimate TPACK Game) with the terms that were on the TPACK cards and more. There is a built-in random number generator that you can use to select the Content Topics and Pedagogical Strategies at random so that you can identify a form of technology to use to achieve the Ultimate TPACK. (Read the Directions)

Play this game to develop at least 5 TPACK sets.  Before you create your lesson, you will be asked to list these 5 TPACK sets and explain the rational for your selections.

Now it will be time to return to the Module 4 instructions to learn about writing your TPACK lesson plan.

Another Place to Visit

Visit the WikiBook: TPACKing for a Wonderful Educational Trip  Dr. Z's students in the past (2012 & 2014) created a WikiBook to share lessons that they created using TPACK.  This is different than what we will be doing this semester, but they did some impressive work with TPACK.

Happy Traveling through TPACK.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Module 3: Integrating Digital Technology

Please begin by watching the 24-minute introductory video above. 

Integrating digital technologies into your curriculum is much more than just adding a computer to the lesson. Technology must be considered as a tool that will support learning experiences. It must be selected based upon pedagogical needs rather than the other way around.

Effective learning involves challenging learners with situations that are relevant to their lives and are challenging enough to interest them and engage them in the learning process. When educators discuss levels of intellectual challenge, they typically compare higher-order thinking to lower-order thinking.  These terms are best described by using Bloom's Taxonomy.

Thinking Blooms
Bloom's Taxonomy was first published in 1954 when Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues wanted to create a hierarchy of terms that they could use when they were describing various types of questions that they might use on a test.  Since then, the taxonomy has taken on a broader meaning which educators used to also describe educational activities.

In the 1990s, one of Bloom's students, Lorin Anderson, lead a group of cognitive psychologists who reconsidered Bloom's taxonomy and reworked it to reflect 21st century learning. You will notice that the new taxonomy has changed the static verbs to active verbs by adding "ing" to the end. They also removed Synthesis and placed Creating on the top.  

This tool has been aligned with 21st Century in many ways. Andrew Churches in New Zealand has provided a digital perspective where he begins provides Bloom's Taxonomy with a context and then identifies a number of digital tools that can be grouped into each level. 

Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally. Churches demonstrates that the Higher-Order Thinking skills are the top three verbs, Analyzing, Evaluating and Creating.  The Lower-Order Thinking skills are the bottom three verbs, Remembering, Understanding and Applying.

Kathy Schrock and Samantha Penney have used a more graphical format to align Web 2.0 tools with the new version of Bloom's Taxonomy. Kathy limits her work to Google tools while Samantha expands it to a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools. Carefully review these sites to provide a background for your later assignment.

Is there any sense in classifying teaching strategies, questions, Web 2.0 tools using an organizer like Bloom's Taxonomy? Can pedagogical activities actually be restricted to one of 6 classifications? Probably not. Grouping tools like these are designed to provide vocabulary for discussions between professionals.  Using these classifications I can distinguish teaching for memorization or developing problem-solving skills.

Adding Technology to the Mix
Technology can be used in a learning environment but will it make a difference? It all depends on HOW technology is used. Like Bloom's Taxonomy, technology can be integrated in a variety of ways. These may include teachers who operate at a basic level by using PowerPoint presentations to support their lecture-driven methods. They also include the teachers who step back and encourage students to use these tools in innovative ways to create new projects and experiences.

The problem has been to find a vocabulary to define these various levels of integration.  Apple Computer sponsored a decade-long research project entitled Apple Classrooms of the Tomorrow (ACOT). This project involved providing technology-rich classrooms by filling them with Apple IIgs computers AND providing one for each of the students' homes (20th century 1:1 computing.)  As they examined the various levels on which teachers used technology, they identified a 5 stages including: Entry, Adoption, Adaption, Appropriation, and Innovation.  Read the article, What is Effective Integration of Technology, and Does It Make a Difference by Debra Rein.  It is a short article, but it provides a background for the ACOT Evolution of Thought and Practice.  Please note that these levels of adoption exist in any teaching/learning situation whether it is in corporate, PK-12 or post-secondary settings.

SAMR -  Substitute/Augment/Modify/Redefine
Another model that is popular in the schools today is the SAMR model. It was developed by Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D. to describe a ladder of implementation that occurs as you integrate technology into your curriculum. 

Here is a Lynda Tutorial that describes the four levels of SAMR:

Did it make sense?  Would you be able to identify and define the 4 levels of SAMR?

Visit this website to review SAMR and take a quiz to ensure your SAMR knowledge.

How would you match the ACOT 5 stages and the SAMR model?  Do they directly link to one another?

ACOT 5 Stages (TIM)                       SAMR
Entry                                               Simulation
Adoption                                         Augmentation
Adaption                                         Modification
Appropriation                                  Redefinition

How would YOU compare the ACOT 5 Stages (TIM) and SAMR?  Explore your ideas using this Google Drawing.  You can't change the original, but you can make a copy of it and then modify it anyway you can imagine.

Technology Integration Matrix
The key to successful integration requires a system to integrate the research on Learning Environments with what has been learned about technology adoption. In 2005, the Florida Department of Education created their Technology Integration Matrix (TIM).  This is a matrix that uses a series of 5 steps in technology adoption that is similar to the ACOT set.  It also has a set of desired learning environment characteristics which include Active, Collaborative, Constructive, Authentic and Goal-Directed. 

USE THIS MATRIX: While the Florida TIM was the original, I would like to suggest that you savor the  Arizona flavor of this matrix. It is essentially the same but it has video examples sorted by grade level.  Past students have noted that this matrix is easier to understand and use.

Go see Arizona TIM and play around for a while to see what they have to offer.  You will find  video examples of lessons and lesson plans in a variety of subjects.

NOTE: I have been looking for such a matrix that displays this in a corporate training format, but to no avail.

Here is an 11-minute video shared by the developers that they developed to explain it.  It provides a useful background for understanding TIM.  It is based upon the Florida version.

Here is a quiz to test your mastery of the Technology Integration Matrix.  There is no grade associated with it.  There is an explanation with your answers so you can learn from it - you can take it as many times as you want.  You may want to refer to this Table of Summary Descriptors for the TIM. 

All Together Now

Here is a Technology Integration slideshow referred to me by Michelle Cowell which covers SAMR, TIM, TPACK, and a variety of other thoughts about technology integration.  You can click on the link below or scan the QR code on the opening page.  Look for the recurring theme and consider the vocabulary that it provides for you.  How will you use this with your teachers, colleagues and administrators?

Add caption

Barriers to Technology Integration
Change is not always easy.  Even if an innovation can obviously improve learning situations, there are a number of things that can get in the way.  In some cases it has to do with institutional barriers that get in the way.  Review (look for the highpoints) an article, Barriers to Adopting Emerging Technologies in Education by Rogers.  This article looks at potential problems in the PK-12 as well as the University level schools.

Sometimes the problem is in the attitudes and belief systems of the teachers. This is another article which explores the Beliefs and Practices of teachers in the ACOT study.
Changes in Teacher's Beliefs and Practices in Technology-Rich Classrooms by Dwyer, Ringstaff and Sandholtz  (Note: This information won't really be used until next module, but I wanted you to have it to ponder for a while.)

Extra Resources: (Not Required)
Here are a few resources that I found that you might find useful when you are working with your colleagues and you are looking for materials to introduce SAMR and TIM.  (This is NOT additional required reading.  These are just some resources that could be useful.)

Made with Padlet

You have learned a great deal about technology integration. It has many faces. The Entry levels of adoption are not bad to use in the classroom.  Sometimes slideshows are the most efficient way to convey information. The key is to move deftly along the continuum to ensure that your learners are engaging into their learning experiences.

You need to find 5 instances of technology integration in your special field of interest. You may find these on videos or in real life or on paper or ?????  The key is that you consider this important to your field of teaching and it is worth your time to evaluate. 

NOTE: Do NOT emphasize a technology tool. This assignment asks you to find an actual teaching/learning experience where a technology tool is used as part of lesson. The tool is not the center of this activity but rather what can be done using that tool. 

Evaluate it by: 
  • Describing the example including level, subject, intended outcome and process.
  • Identify where you found this example. (video, paper, web, real life, ?)
  • Identifying the cell on the TIM into which it would be classified.
  • Explain why you classified it into that cell.  What are the attributes that cause it to fit into that section?
  • Explain how this would fit into your world of teaching/learning.  How would/could you use it in your classroom?  If you don't have a classroom yet, then place it into the classroom where you intend to work.
BTW: As always, if you have a medium through which you could answer this that is NOT written text - GO FOR IT!!  Remember that your presentation must satisfy the assignment's rubric.
BAM!!!!  Take it up a notch.  
For each of your examples, explain how you would reorganize this lesson to move it to another level.  This means that after you have identified the cell where one specific lesson's activities exist, you will identify changes you will make in how you are designing the lesson's activities to move it to another cell that is "Up a notch."  You MUST identify the specific coordinates of the cell where you are moving the lesson. 
  • The Technology is in a sequence so you will need to move it to the right. Please note that moving along the horizontal track is as much about making the activity more student-centric as it is about technology.
You ONLY have to move it one cell to the right to increase the depth of technology, but you are welcome to move it to another row as well.

You will submit the link to your Google Doc in the Module 3 discussion forum. 

Refer to the Module 3 page in eLearning for specifics and rubric
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