What can you do with a garlic press and fruit?
This morning, we were presented with a unique problem. Firstly we were placed into 3 groups and were told to prepare breakfast. Easy…I thought! But we had to do this with a glass bowl and a ‘garlic press’. Our group was assigned to prepare fruit salad.
By using these tools we had think carefully about how we would cut and or slice strawberries, kiwi fruit and bananas. This made us think about the problem and the processes that we will be using…not just the tools (technology). As Mishra and Koehler (2009) put it “…these technologies has affordances and constraints, potentials and problems that we as educators need to understand before we can start using them for pedagogical purposes.” Even though we had the tools, we had to think and try different processes tin order to produce the final product. As we found out that making fruit salad with a garlic press is quite a difficult process…but it can be done!
This process and the TPACK Framework has provided me with a re-focused line of thinking that is not solely focused on the technology as I previously was. How can I incorporate this piece of technology into my classroom? How can I use this technology to teach a lesson? Are we loosing our way by focusing too much on the technology and ignoring the content and pedagogy? We need to ask ourselves as educator, why am I teaching this to my students?
When we choose lessons to teach we must look at the big picture and have a seamless approach to all our lessons by incorporating Pedagogical Knowledge, Content Knowledge and Technological Knowledge into all lessons.
In the Australian AITSL Teaching Standards a core content standard is that we need to know the content and the how to teach it. This is core to all lessons taught. We also need to understand how student learn and adapt lessons and our pedagogy to suit these individual needs. Experienced educators are able to do this with proficiency but novices will need time and guidance. As stated by Bransford, Brown, and Cocking (2000) “Experts notice features and meaningful patterns of information that are not noticed by novices.” and “Experts have acquired a great deal of content knowledge that is organized in ways that reflect a deep understanding of their subject matter”.
As was experienced by all the different groups we all had to prepare a separate menu for breakfast this morning…so we all had the same content. But we all had a different set of ‘technology’. We all had to adapt this ‘technology’ to suit the content and to achieve the final outcome of the lesson.
- http://www.aitsl.edu.au/australian-professional-standards-for-teachers/standards/list. Accessed 13 July 2105.
- Bransford, John D, Ann L Brown, and Rodney R Cocking. How People Learn. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001. Print
- Mishra, P. & Koehler. M. J. (2009). Too cool for school? No way! Using the TPACK framework: You can have your hot tools and teach with them, too. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(7), 14-18.