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Applying Technology Theories and Models to Instruction

Applying Technology Theories and Models to Instruction

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will consider ways that theories and models related to technology can be applied to a unit of study.

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Source: Image of light bulb, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/the-light-bulb-light-bulb-lighting-349400/; IMAGE OF TPACK, CREATIVE COMMONS, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TPACK_pt-BR.png

Video Transcription

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, I will be instructing you on the topic of applying technology theories and models to instruction. As we learn about this topic, we will work towards several learning objectives. And together, we'll answer the following questions in this tutorial. What is TPACK? And how can TPACK be successfully applied to unit studies?

In this video lesson, we will go through the model of TPACK. And throughout, we will be looking at examples of each separate domain and what you might see. So what is TPACK? Well, TPACK, remember, is the idea that teachers must look at the intersecting areas of all three domains, content knowledge, or CK, pedagogical knowledge, or PK, and technological knowledge, or TK.

It's here, the sweet spot that some call it, that we as teachers can use all three components and intertwine things together to create a great learning environment for our students. You don't necessarily have to be in this area, depending on what your objectives are for your lesson. So it's essential for you to look at your goals and objectives, and then decide which region will best work for you.

So let's go through each region of TPACK separately. First, we'll start with content knowledge. And content knowledge is focusing on what we are teaching, making sure that we are masters of our content and have a deep understanding and knowledge of content that we are teaching. An example of this would be a teacher that delivers a lesson with accurate information on the topic and concepts of the lesson or unit, for example a US history teacher delivering a lesson on the Civil War that has great and deep knowledge of Civil War, and US history as a whole.

Let's look at the next region. Here we'll focus on pedagogical knowledge, or PK. This is how students learn, and how we teach. What are the best practices? We also want to look at the application of theories of learning. What's an example of this? Well, this would be a teacher that uses intentional grouping strategies to group students into small groups.

So here, this teacher would know his or her class. And they would intentionally group students into groups based on what they know and pedagogy for that particular group of students. This would be different in elementary school than it would be in high school settings, for example.

The next region that we'll focus on is technological knowledge, or TK. And it's here that we understand the wide range of tools available, both standard tools and advanced technologies. We also want to make sure that we look at the skills and knowledge that it takes to use these technologies effectively.

Here's an example of technological knowledge-- teaching students to use Google docs to record information and collaborate with group members. This would be teaching your students how to use a tool, a technological tool, Google docs, to record information. We would need to have, as a teacher, the skills and knowledge to use this technology, as well as the understanding of this tool and why we're using it.

Let's look at the next three domains, some intersecting areas of this diagram. First, we'll look at TPK, or technological pedagogical knowledge. This is the intersection of technology and pedagogy, where we understand the application of technology tools for specific groups of students. And we intentionally select tools based on our groups of students and the best practices.

Some examples would be documentation tools for attendance and grades. So as a teacher, we use these tools to document important information, but it's technology related. Also, tech based strategies like, WebQuests, wikis, blogs, or discussion boards. Let's look at the next domain here. Now we'll look at TCK, or technological content knowledge. And it's here that we understand the relationship between content and those tools, those technological tools.

We also want to make sure that we understand the ability to modify and manipulate with tools. An example of this would be a virtual manipulative tool, such as the website GeoGebra to explore geometry in a visual, hands-on way. The next intersecting area that we'll take a look at is PCK, pedagogical content knowledge. And it's here that look at how to teach what we are teaching, so what are the best practices for teaching the content that we are teaching to our specific students.

An example would be using a collaborative workspace for students to connect to content, so for example, a discussion board, or having groups work on Google docs, where they can post information and then collaborate with each other and look at the information other group members posted. You can use a blog to do this as well.

Let's look at the center area here, the goal of this, that sweet spot of teaching. And that is TPACK, technological pedagogical content knowledge. And this is the ability to connect all three, intertwine all three of these-- pedagogy, content, and technology. It's important to be purposeful when you make applications in each region. So know which region you're teaching in based on your objectives and your goals for your units.

Let's look at an example. Students watch videos and complete homework before class. This is an example of a flipped classroom. And then in class the next day, groups are formed to discuss and research this information that they learned about individually at home the night before. In groups, students will produce podcasts. And they'll publish those to teach others about their findings.

We looked at the following two questions in this video lesson. What is TPACK? And how can TPACK be successfully applied to unit studies? Remember, TPACK is that sweet spot where we combine and think about technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge. And we want to intertwine all three when we are looking at using the domain of TPACK in our teaching.

How can this successfully be applied to our unit studies? We talked about examples in each area of TPACK. And remember, it's important to be intentional about the area that you are working in. Look at your goals and objectives. And then choose the appropriate area and strategies that would work in that area.

Now that you have a better understanding of these ideas and examples, let's reflect. What are the benefits of understanding TPACK and importance of technology integration in your unit studies? Which of the TPACK domains do you feel the most comfortable within in your teaching?

Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson, applying technology theories and models to instruction. I hope you found value in this video lesson and ideas we discussed together. And I hope you're able to apply these ideas and concepts to your own teaching.

As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skills.

Notes on “Applying Technology Theories and Models to Instruction”


(00:00- 00:33) Introduction/Objectives

(00:34- 01:13) What is TPACK?

(01:14- 01:45) CK and Instruction

(01:46- 02:24) PK and Instruction

(02:25- 03:10) TK and Instruction

(03:11- 04:57) TPK, TCK, and PCK and Instruction

(04:58- 05:48) TPACK and Instruction    

(05:49- 06:29) Recap

(06:30- 07:17) Reflection  

Additional Resources


This is the official website of the TPACK framework with resources for educators. Educators can sign up for the TPACK academy for free to learn more about how to apply the framework into their instructional practices.

​TPACK Tool: Effective Uses of Technology in the Classroom

This wiki connects theories, frameworks, and technology for 21st century instruction by bringing together UbD, Marzano, SAMR, and Bloom's through a variety of links.

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledge

This is the article by Mishra and Koehler that established the TPCK framework and set the stage in a research base for the current TPACK framework. On this site, you will find links to additional research articles on TPACK from Mishra and Koehler.

Ruben R. Puentedura's Weblog

This site offers articles, research, and resources for teachers on implementing both SAMR and TPACK. In addition, Dr. Puentedura's SAMR model is explored in depth.