The #TPaCK model: An introduction

One of the big things I want to look at in terms of how I teach this year is my integration of technology into my classroom practices. Those of you who visit the blog regularly will know that I’m a big advocate of technology, but I still feel that I need to look in depth at how – and why – I’m using it in my teaching. A good way to do this is through the TPaCK model. Rather than write about this in detail now, I’ve prepared a video* explaining what this model represents. Please take a look if, like me, you like to use tech in your teaching and want to make sure that you are doing it in a beneficial way.

This is something I’ll be referring back to throughout the coming year, so please call back to see how things are going.

What I’d like you to do…

TPaCK isn’t a new phenomenon. Many academics have been working on this for a number of years. I have, however, taken the liberty of placing language on the diagram. What I’d like you to do is tell me if you agree with my placement, and if not tell me where you’d put it, as this is really the key to implementing the TPaCK model into language teaching.

* I prepared this for my university’s website, hence the fact it is a little more formal than my usual video clips

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11 thoughts on “The #TPaCK model: An introduction

  1. Thank you, Matthew. Given your place in the ‘TPaCK’ scheme of things, it means a great deal that you found time to come here and see my take on the model.

    For other people reading these comments, please click on Dr. Koehler’s name (on his comment) to visit his great website, where you can learn much more about TPaCK.

  2. very good presentation to clarify the relations between these areas. Teachers should integrate as much as possible technology, content and pedagogy but it is not very easy to realize. The problem is also to specify what acticity or technique is more suitable.
    Thank you

  3. Thanks, Luisa. I agree that full integration of the three elements is difficult. However, I think it’s healthy to view all three as being of equal importance if you are using tech in your teaching. Tech shouldn’t just be an addition or the way in which you present content as a way of mixing things up in the classroom. It should be conscientiously considered for its own sake.

  4. Hi,

    I think LANGUAGE should be a circle surrounding all three circles. If, as Vygotsky proposed, speech develops thinking and vice versa, then language is integral to the three domains:

    - we need mastery of speech to be able to relate to technology as well as to make our tech knowledge explicit. By the same token, we keen to develop a “metalanguage” which would allow us to access (i.e. decode) the jargon associated with technology.

    - we also need mastery of speech to grasp an understanding of the pedagogy which, in turn allows us to access yet another sort of metalanguage to name and represent (both mentally and verbally) all the instructional decision one makes.

    - finally, speech allows us to master the content we are supposed to teach. We know, through the work of Cummins (1981) that academic language proficiency is radically different from basic interpersonal language proficiency

    Also, at the confluence of content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, we have a fourth unique kind of teacher knowledge: PCK defined as Shulman (1986) as knowing what content is suitable to be taught and how to a particular set of learners at a given time and learning space (physical and/or virtual). And I could go on, since each of the interactions of the domains of knowledge presented piecemeal in the TPACK generates another domain-specific metalanguage which, in turn, propels a particular kind of thinking process. There is a lot of adaptation and reconfiguration of the individual domains as they interact and, if looked at in a systemic fashion, a modification in one would modify the entire system (i.e. all the other kinds of knowledge stemming from the interaction of the particular domains).

    Hence, language should be an all-encompassing label affecting the entire TPACK in the belief that the linguistic knowledge accrued/developed/negotiated/reified by the learner would prompt changes int he whole system.

    Hope this makes sense (and helps).


  5. Thank you for your long and well-informed comment, Gabriel. I have to admit that in part I placed language where I did so that it might generate exactly the kind of comments the post has received.

    The original TPaCK Venn-diagram see the three elements surrounded wholly by ‘context’. I concur that this might also be the best place to put the label ‘language’, were we indeed forced to do so. Given the role that context plays in driving our use of language, it is leading me to make a revision to my diagram in the way that you suggets, so thanks again.

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