Recipe for TPACK

As a science minded person, I have always been a terrible cook but an excellent baker.  This is a bad quality to have if you have a slow metabolism, but following recipes satisfies some of the OCD nature I have as a neurotic person.

In our latest MSU MAET Adventure, we were tasked with having someone (in my case, my fiance) find us a plate, bowl, and utensil.  Without specific instructions, he chose a small plate, a small bowl, and a utensil.  Next he chose a number out of a hat.  The options were numbered 1-5, and the resulting task asked me to “slice veggies for a veggie tray”.  This, of course, was filmed.

The task, although confusing at first asks you to redefine how you see the task.  As we learn about TPACK (technological, pedagogical and content knowledge).  As a metaphor, I see the utensil as the technology, the plate as the pedagogy or the foundation, and the bowl as the storage vessel for the content.  It took some thinking to decide if the tools worked well together, but ultimately you have to decide if you can make them work in an innovative way.  If you can’t, then how do you adapt as necessary?

Teachers in the classroom face this challenge regularly.  Whether teaching units you don’t have curriculum for, or trying to make a snap decision when the internet goes down and you’re working in a Google doc.  Teachers have to remain flexible and adapt.  We must be strong in our pedagogy and content knowledge while using the technology as a tool to enhance the prior two components of the TPACK.  Although I am a good baker and love a good recipe, I’ve had to learn to break free of that through my career to strengthen my TPACK.


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