The Practitioner’s Guide to TPACK is an initiative jointly undertaken by the members of the National Technology Leadership Coalition (NTLC). Technology is rapidly changing how we teach and how we learn. Emergent technologies offer opportunities to understand concepts in deeper, often different, and more meaningful ways. However, this growth in understanding will occur only if teachers learn to use these technologies in effective ways.
The NTLC was established to address this challenge. The NTLC includes representation by the teacher educator associations for the core content areas and corresponding educational technology associations. Teacher educator content associations currently represented include mathematics education (AMTE), science education (ASTE), social studies (NCSS/CUFA), English language arts (NCTE/CEE), and reading (IRA/OTER).
These associations and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) jointly publish the peer-reviewed journal, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE Journal). Additional educational technology associations participating in the NTLC include the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) serves as host for an annual National Technology Leadership Summit (NTLS) in which member associations participate.
What is TPACK?
Three essential types of knowledge—technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge—emerged as a framework for collaborative work across associations. The framework of technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK; Mishra & Koehler, 2006) builds upon Shulman’s (1986) notion of pedagogical content knowledge. Pedagogical knowledge goes beyond knowledge of subject matter, involving understanding of effective strategies for teaching a subject in ways that make it comprehensible.
TPACK involves an interaction among all three forms of knowledge—technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge. In other words, the most effective uses of technology also require a deep understanding of content and related pedagogical strategies. Teacher educators comprising these content associations are, therefore, best positioned to understand how technology may be best employed within their specific disciplines. Hence the National Technology Leadership Coalition (NTLC) is organized around this framework.
The American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge proved to be a foundational reference for this area. Since publication of the AACTE TPACK Handbook in 2008, more than 200 related articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals and the topic has been addressed by more than a dozen doctoral dissertations to date.
The AACTE TPACK Handbook was designed as a scholarly document to establish theoretical foundations. The Practitioners’ Guide to TPACK is intended to serve as practical guide for teachers and educational leaders, illustrating implementation of TPACK through the lens of video-based teaching case. Each teaching case provides a window on the classroom, with associated reflections by teachers, samples of student work, related commentaries, and accompanying exercises. These teaching cases are intended illustrative rather than an prescriptive. There are dozens of ways in which technology might be effectively used in each content area. The teaching cases showcased in the Practitioner’s Guide to TPACK will provide an introduction only to a handful of these approaches.
The CITE Journal and other journals published by NTLC associations welcome additional examples to provide additional diversity of perspective on the ways in which TPACK is advancing teaching and learning in K-12 classrooms.
Why use video case studies?
There are a number of reasons for use of video-based teaching cases as the foundation for the Practitioner’s Guide to TPACK. Advances in interactive technologies make it easier than ever to show actual classroom examples through video rather than simply telling about them through text. Video is now ubiquitous and has become a notable feature of online life. It therefore makes sense to use video to illustrate effective uses of technology in teaching, combining text and media in an interactive format.