Teacher preparation with technology (ISTE12 workshop)


The purpose of this session (here is their Web site) at ISTE12 was to introduce university faculty and teacher educators to TPACK as an organizing framework to focus modeling of technology use and preparing teachers to integrate technology in their teaching. This is an organizing framework rather than some software or whatever. Another purpose is to share models for assisting teacher educators in applying TPACK to curriculum as a tool to aid in technology integration.

There are three leaders of this session:

  • Mark Hofer from William & Mary (mark.hofer@wm.edu)
  • Teresa Foulger, Arizona State University (teresa.foulger@asu.edu)
  • Sarah McPherson from New York Institute of Technology (smcphers@nyit.edu)

TPACK is “Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge.” It is the intersection of Technological knowledge, Pedagogical knowledge, and Content knowledge (subject matter). In other words:

Any use of technology needs to fit with the pedagogical style of the teacher and the content to be taught.

This is all some sort part of Microsoft’s Teacher Education Initiative whose purpose is “to teach [education educators] how to more systemically integrate technology when teaching pre-service teachers.”

Points to remember

These are three things that I took from the introductory discussion:

  • Don’t forget that some of what students need to learn is inter-disciplinary skills, and technology can be a tool to help draw the separate areas of knowledge.
  • We need to move from use of technology, integrate technology with our teaching, and now to innovate with technology. And capturing a lecture on video and playing it on some geeky player doesn’t change the fact that a lecture is a lecture. There are times that we need to move beyond the lecture, no matter how cool it might look.
  • The boundaries between art, science, creativity, design, and business are disappearing. We need to think about how we can bring them together instead of break them apart.


The following are a series of exercises that we worked on for the last 90 minutes or so of class. It is a menu of possibilities for getting teachers to think about technology and teaching.

  • We were challenged to fit together a random pedagogy (chosen from a deck of cards containing one pedagogy each) with a random content area with a random technology (same as previous). This was a creative exercise to stretch our mind, to get us to think about unusual and unexpected combinations so that we think more broadly.
  • Mini-teach:
    • You get a technology tool, and then you are asked to come up with a scenario when that tool might be used. They have to learn the tool on their own, and then come and deliver a short lesson using that tool (on content of their own using a technology of their own).
    • The way she (Teresa) uses this approach is have a list of technology tools (see her side bar), give each student a random technology, and assigns them to learn it in an hour on their own. Just play with the tool. She asks them to design a learning experience using that tool on some content (that they choose themselves).
    • She has also done it as a poster session with faculty (before a faculty meeting).
    • Check the Innovations menu on the side of her page for all the technologies they are looking at.
    • She asks them to think about what’s the added value of the technology (e.g., a wiki); what did the technology add that could not have happened without the technology?
  • Learning activity types: With a different set of learning activities and taxonomies for a particular discipline, pair the beginning teacher with specific appropriate technologies and see how each would develop lessons based on that.
  • Universal design for learning: Start with the student, and look at a framework that addresses what we teach, and then how we teach it, and then why we teach it (or learn about it). We have to think about these all together, as an integrated whole. This process involves looking at the motivation and student’s interaction with the whole learning process; you can’t ignore their motivations when thinking about how and what to teach. You have to focus on who the students are, and what stage they’re at.

As an aside, I learned about PollEverywhere as a tool for getting input from students.

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