Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Barrington 220 is TPACKed with Great Lessons!

If you need convincing about the impact technology has in education, you need only visit our classrooms in Barrington 220.

Photo via @slatkamarijana
Photo via @radiogirl271

Outside of Barrington 220, most conversations regarding technology integration focus on device choice, number of devices, and the total cost. Inside the school district, we concentrate on how those devices transform how students learn and demonstrate learning in school.

Enter TPACK:
Image Rights Free

TPACK stands for Technological, Pedagogical, And Content Knowledge and was developed by Dr. Matthew Koehler and Dr. Punya Mishra, both from Michigan State University. The TPACK model is a philosophical belief about the integration of technology in education. As the image above illustrates, technology, pedagogy (instruction), and content knowledge (curriculum) must work together in tandem to best serve students in the classroom.

When TPACK is implemented well, technology acts as the vehicle that drives the curriculum to the student, through best practice in instruction, AND offers the student a high quantity and quality of tools to use to demonstrate learning.

The best designed lessons cannot exist without the presence of all three elements working in concert.  For example, a great lesson requires a quality curriculum, and the teacher must have a solid handle on the content (Content Knowledge). A great lesson also requires best practice in instruction (Pedagogical Knowledge); a great curriculum cannot teach itself. And, a truly great lesson, one that differentiates instruction for all learners and allows students to practice 21st-century skills, can also include well planned and appropriately implemented technology tools.

Our teachers in Barrington 220 continue to work to understand the balance of implementing technology into their lessons. The iPad, for example, was first introduced just four short years ago. There will always be learning curve as educators both learn to use a device with all its versatility and how to incorporate the best features of the technology into education.

To learn more about TPACK, visit  and view this two-minute video:

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