As an adult who graduated high school and went to college using only books and libraries to do research with, moving into a technology world of teaching is difficult sometimes. I see all these cool tools that I think I could use in a classroom, only to find out the technology for its use doesn’t exist where I am. It becomes frustrating to try and see an implementation course of action when you can’t use something. Mishra and Koehler (2007) show an illustration on the framework of TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge), which builds on Shulman’s description of PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge).
In this model, there are three main components of teachers’ knowledge: content, pedagogy, and technology. Equally important to the model are the interactions between and among these bodies of knowledge, represented as PCK (Pedagogical Content Knoledge), TCK (technological content knowledge), TPK (technological pedagogical knowledge), hence TPACK, Mishra and Koehler (2007). I see this as an introduction to the future of teaching, and also a downfall of districts that are struggling to keep up. Another problem I have found is districts spend a lot of money on specialized software and program integrations that are only good for a year or two because technology is advancing so rapidly. This is the frustration that I have run into in the last two years. Looking for a solution, I may have found it in MOODLE. We have MOODLE, yet no one knows how to use it in my grade level. We have not been trained on what it can and can’t do, so thanks to youtube, I spent three hours pouring over the use and implementation of MOODLE. I see MOODLE fitting into the TPACK model, and being a viable course of action in my classroom.
A (not so) emerging technology that I would love to use is the flipped classroom. How cool would it be to have students go home, watch a video and practice a skill to come back the next day with a basic understanding of the task at hand? I could actually spend more time with the struggling students and challenge the ones that have a firm grasp on the knowledge without a thirty-minute lecture. Punya Mishra and Methew Koehler (2007) state “Technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) is knowledge of the existence, components, and capabilities of various technologies as they are used in teaching and learning settings, and conversely, knowing how teaching might change as the result of using particular technologies.” I think this is so true, teaching could change dramatically with the use of technology, and the classroom environment could benefit greatly. The problem I have is less that 5% of my class does or will have Internet at home. There is no library outside of the school, there is no Internet café, and there is little to no cell service on the reservation. There is only one place that has WIFI and it is limited to paying customers only.
As a grade level, we discussed the use of MOODLE last night, and see an implementation course of action for our grade. Once a week our students get computer time for fifty-minutes. We can use that time to introduce a topic using the flipped classroom. It is not the ideal way, but it is something we can do to teach a skill coming up the next week, and have the kids practice up to that point. We can also use center time during the week, to reinforce that skill before it becomes the taught lesson. We believe that using the flipped classroom will help our struggling students see how it is done through a video, then put the skill to use in the classroom, and us, be able to spend the quality time needed to help the struggling students. Whether it works or not will remain to be seen, but I am optimistic.
I see the flipped classroom as a tool of the future, and a way of making learning fun. I know most everyone in this class is tech savvy already, but below is a video from Keith Hughes who make learning fun and easy on a shoe-string budget!
Mishra, P. & Koeler, M.J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record, Volume 108, Number 6, June 2006, 1017-1054.
Koeler, M. J. & Mishra, P. (2009). What Is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.