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Lesson Planning with TPACK

Lesson Planning with TPACK

Author: Trisha Fyfe

This lesson provides instruction on how to update a lesson plan using the TPACK framework as a model

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Welcome to A tutorial on lesson planning with TPACK. In today's tutorial, we will discuss how can I adapt an existing lesson plan to incorporate ideas from TPACK. So what exactly is TPACK? Remember, TPACK is the ability to connect pedagogy, content, and technology. It's where the Technological Knowledge-- TK, Content Knowledge-- CK, and Pedagogical Knowledge-- PK all connect together in that sweet spot. This is where we should strive to be as teachers-- making those connections effectively.

So what is the lesson that we are about to apply this model of TPACK to? This is a lesson on what is pollution for environmental health sixth grade students. It's a one to two class lesson describing the ways that we as humans affect the environment and describing pollution and what it looks like. The process will be to ask what is pollution-- what kinds of human activities create pollution. Have students discuss examples of pollution and then give them time in groups to compile pictures and create a presentation on examples of pollution in their own community, school, or environment. After, they would present the completed presentations in class. Each group would present their own.

Let's take this lesson and update it, according to TPACK, using this model. It's important to note that you really need to be purposeful in your movement through TPACK regions. We don't want to add technology just to add it. After viewing this lesson plan, can you think of ways to incorporate TPACK? What are some technology tools that you are currently comfortable using? Let's take these ideas and apply it to TPACK.

Let's start with content knowledge. What are we teaching? What is our knowledge of the content? In this lesson in particular, our required content knowledge is science and environmental health, specifically pollution. We need to have a strong and deep understanding of pollution. What is the pedagogical knowledge that we need? This is how students learn and the best practices for teaching. The required pedagogical knowledge is the best practices for middle school students.

We also need to have a good understanding of grouping strategies. Let's look at the T section, or the Technological Knowledge. This is understanding the wide range of tools available-- standard and advanced technologies. In this lesson in particular, the required technological knowledge is to have a knowledge of the tools available using the internet. As well, we need to have an idea of the tools that would better this specific lesson. So we need to think about what tools are available to use in this specific lesson.

We also need to make sure we understand TPK, or Technological Pedagogical Knowledge, which is the understanding application of technology tools for a specific group, as well as intentionally selecting those tools. TCK, or Technological Content Knowledge, which is understanding the relationship between content and tools-- the ability to modify and manipulate our content with the tools. And PCK, or Pedagogical Content Knowledge, which is how to teach what we are teaching to our specific students.

In the middle, we have TPACK, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, the ability to connect pedagogy content and technology. We need to be purposeful in making applications in each of the regions, remember. So let's update our lesson with a focus on technological pedagogical content knowledge, making sure that we are in the center here-- in this sweet spot.

Some things we can do to update our lesson would be to add a few steps. The steps are highlighted. We could give each group a class camera and take a field trip around school grounds to document pollution examples. We could also allow groups to use time and use the internet, specifically, during lab time to research and compile pictures. So students will be allowed to use technology tools to do some research.

For our presentations, we could have students in groups select between creating a wiki, a podcast along with a poster, or maybe a video using visual and audio tools. So students would have the decision to create one of these three. All these highlighted ideas fall within the TPACK model. They're integrating technology, best practices, and pedagogy for our specific students, which is a sixth grade group of students. In content, making sure that we're staying within the content of our lesson, which is pollution and environmental health.

Reflect a moment on this lesson and your knowledge of TPACK to this point. Can you think of additional ideas to incorporate? Also think about what are the benefits of applying TPACK to your lessons. Why do you think using TPACK will benefit your lessons?

Let's discuss what we learned today. We talked about how can I adapted an existing lesson plan to incorporate ideas from TPACK. In today's tutorial, I reviewed the idea of TPACK, which is that intersection of technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge, and the importance of being able to integrate technology, pedagogy, and content all together into your teaching. We took a lesson plan and we updated it using ideas that would fall under TPACK.

Thanks for joining me today. I enjoyed discussing these ideas of TPACK with you, and I hope you're able to incorporate some of these ideas into your own lesson planning. 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 skill set.

Notes on "Lesson Planning with TPACK"


(00:00- 00:10) Introduction/objectives

(00:11 - 00:32) Review of TPACK Model

(00:33- 01:23) Sample lesson for evaluation

(01:24- 01:34) Reflection/application questions

(01:35- 01:52) Updating the lesson: CK

(01:53- 02:09) Updating the lesson: PK

(02:10- 02:35) Updating the lesson: TK

(02:36- 03:09) Updating the lesson: TPK, TCK, PCK

(03:10- 04:31) Updating the lesson: TPACK

(04:32- 04:49) Reflection/application questions

(04:50- 05:43) Review 

Additional Resources

The Practitioner's Guide to TPACK
This site offers elementary and secondary case studies illustrating the implementation of TPACK in the elementary and secondary classrooms. The purpose of the case studies is to support teachers in the effective integration of technology into teaching and learning.