“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” – Bill Gates

CEP 810: Slicing Cheese with TPACK

on June 16, 2014

This week for CEP 810, I performed a task using Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). This framework explains how, in order to successfully integrate technology into learning, educators must align content (what is taught), pedagogy (best practices), and technology (tools utilized during learning).

My assignment was to have a friend choose three items from my kitchen: a plate, a bowl, and one utensil. My boyfriend chose a large plate, a cereal bowl, and a fork. Next, I was randomly assigned my task: to cut a block of cheese as though I was assembling a cheese platter. My journey is captured below:

As the video illustrates, a fork was not my ideal choice for slicing the cheese. Usually forks are used for piercing and transporting food, not slicing it! After attempting to cut the block with the curved part of the fork, I knew I had to repurpose the fork in a new way. It was then that I discovered that slicing with the straight handle of the fork was better suited for my task.

For my cheese slicing assignment, I had to use a technology (the fork) in an innovative way in order to meet the demands of the task. I also applied my content knowledge (prior knowledge about how to slice cheese) and pedagogical knowledge (making adaptations & repurposing) during the learning process.

For educators, the implications of TPACK require going beyond using and integrating technology. TPACK demands that educators employ technology to innovate – from using photoshop programs to show transformations in geometry, to creating a biology website that can be viewed worldwide. It is not enough to simply teach educators how to use technology or to introduce technology into classrooms. Technology must be rethought and repurposed to fit the needs of the classrooms and students.




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