Tag: tpack

“T” to the PaCK!

How do you move from a worksheet to a technology-enriched learning experience?

(Don’t we wish there was a simple, one-word answer???)

In our grade junior and intermediate classes, we use a series called What in the World? The series provides a curriculum-based focus on current events as a platform for discussions and learning. The content is literacy-based, but is often connected to other core subject areas including Math, Science, Social Studies, Geography/History. It comes in worksheet form (albeit we do receive it digitally). The latest series is focused on Idle No More, a movement with very meaningful connections to our students here in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

We’ve been¬†encouraged to share¬†an example of how TPACK influences¬†learning in our schools… this is a great example. Grade 6/7 teacher, Terri Forster, uses the worksheets as a guideline for generating discussions and¬†embeds the content into her cross-curricular¬†teaching strategies. First, she¬†uses the photocopier to scan the¬†worksheets to her email, and projects the writing excerpt and question sheet up on her SMART Board. From here, students are¬†able to engage in a discussion on vocabulary, levels of questions, and interpretation of text features.

Next, students work their way individually through the learning activity (in this case, with a paper copy of the worksheet). They are able to reference their notes on the marked-up copy on the interactive white board as they complete the task.

Taking the paper copy to the IWB enables discussion and engagement during whole-group learning

As¬†the lesson progresses, students will be asked to¬†apply their knowledge¬†and understanding of the content and conventions of writing a letter. Students will co-create their learning goal and success criteria with the use of the curricular expectations and Achievement Chart, and share this document with the class in Google Docs. (Each student has access and regularly uses this tool for creating, collaborating and communicating). As students work through their writing of the letter, they have access to not only a generic success criteria, but their own on-going, personalized feedback through the “Comments” section on Google Drive. They will participate in both teacher and peer assessment in the writing process. As well, students have created personal reminders as a means of self-assessment with VoiceThread, which the students are comfortable using in a variety of writing contexts.

Creating feedback notes on VoiceThreadVoice Thread 

Using netbooks to integrate web tools such as Voice Thread

Meanwhile, our local SHAW cable channel has had a excerpt this week on Idle No More with two local community members discussing the issues with a community focus. Through a Tweet and an email, we will receive a DVD of this episode tomorrow, and will view this with students as an additional resource. Students will continue to connect their own ideas and opinions with others, as they view other sources of information through various media forms.

Lastly, the final copies of their letters (created through digital templates for some), will be sent and shared in a variety of ways to a variety of recipients. The task is rich and meaningful, personalized for each student and a direct result from an activity generated on a worksheet.

It may not be a quick and easy answer, but if we were to give the question¬†How do you move from a worksheet to a technology-enriched learning experience?” a single-word answer, it would be



ToolBox and TPACK

As a technology coach, I am working on flling up my toolbox of strategies and what I affectionately call my “pro tips” for working with others. This week I met with principals and senior administration of my board to discuss the fall technology plan and rolling out devices on a huge scale. My goal is to prepare everything I can during these summer months to be able to best support students, teachers, families and principals as they move further and deeper into 21st Century Learning. My own professional development has never been more meaningful and I am embracing the challenge with the appreciation that I have this beautiful lake view deck from which to work this morning.

Simultaneously, as part of my Connected Coach PLP experience, I am working with the TPACK model this week. I feel like it’s a digital print akin to a MRI of my mind right now. The technology, content, and pedagogy are the trifecta of my work, but it is reaching the core of this that is my goal. I read a tweet this morning that mentioned finding the balance of home and work is impossible, that something must always be off-set in order to move forward. While this certainly made me think of my summer break with my family and the great work I’m doing presently, I also relate it to this model:

Being able to interlink the 3 components (pedagogy, technology and content) also connects all of these other things for me- strategy (my toolbox), process (growth as a coach and leader), and goal (personal, big-picture and board-wide).

Developing a sense of what this looks like in coaching, connected and otherwise, is kind of like looking at the world with 3D glasses. I am balancing the actual with hypothetical in order to see a possible future. Spending time at Calgary Science School (ConnectEdCA) enabled me to see what this looks like for them. Following the tweets and videos of ISTE12 allows me to connect virtually and participate in the learning from a distance, (with the added bonus of processing time while I paddle my kayak). And having daily conversations with a group of brilliant co-learners from around the world in my PLP network is a great way to challenge and process the content while developing a greater understanding of what lies ahead.

To be honest, the content at present is the least of my focus, and in my 3D glasses it’s like the “green” (4D?). Experienced educators are expected to have this. However, as I look at support, I know the source of information is directly related to the aquisition and use of this information, and has a strong connection to the technology. No one piece can be eliminated, nor can it be undervalued.

This is basically at the root of my pedagogy:

“Good teaching is not simply adding technology to the existing teaching and content domain. Rather, the introduction of technology causes the representation of new concepts and requires developing a sensitivity to the dynamic, transactional relationship between all three components suggested by the TPCK framework.” (Kohler & Mishra, 2005, p.134)


Yesterday a friend and colleague came over to visit on a beautiful hot, sunny afternoon. As we sat on the deck and our children played around us, we essentially, discussed just this. (Pink flamingo and flip-flop wine glasses in hand of course.) In her capacity as Curriculum Coordinator, and mine as Technology Coach, we filtered through scenerios with a focus on pedagogy, best practices, possible scenerios for support, and the technological tools we use in our own practices and with others. We are part of a change in infrastructure, human resources, and educational reform. We will be working together in the fall to support a great initiative in our school board, but we have the tools at hand with our existing skill set and knowledge of the curriculum. Our board recognizes the changing face of leadership, and we continue to strive for professional growth as we learn to adapt to evolving positions.

To me, this is the best Appreciative Inquiry.

So, as the sun has crept to this side of the house, my tea is empty and the glare on the laptop becomes a barrier, I know the transition time is upon me and the chickadees indoors will soon become louder than the chirping birds outside. The beautiful thing about being an Connected Educator is that when the time comes to redirect my energies to the REAL FaceTime I know that I have left a space where my support and inspiration will exist upon my return.