This week I learned about the TPACK framework created by Michigan State’s Dr. Matthew Koehler and Dr. Punya Mishra. This framework focuses on the fusion of technology, pedagogy and content for teaching and learning. In his presentation, Dr. Mishra explained how technology can change how and what we teach, but the magic happens when teachers repurpose technology to create meaningful learning opportunities.
The activity we were asked to complete is based off the TPACK framework of repurposing the tools you have to complete a task. The tools that my husband picked out for me to use were a plate, bowl and fork. The task I chose at random was to slice fruit for a fruit salad and had to do so using the three tools I was given.
I liked this task because it related directly to Dr. Mishra’s view at all things can be tools and, with the right innovation and application, all tools can be used to create learning opportunities. When considering how TPACK can influence my teaching, Dr. Mishra’s statement about textbooks being one of the few technologies actually designed for education really resonated with me. I wouldn’t have thought of textbooks as a technology, but thinking about how teachers have to take the curricular tools they have and modify them to meet their teaching objectives is particularly interesting. This modification is much like repurposing. Teachers are continuously having to repurpose the resources, content, curriculum, assessments, and technology they have available to meet the needs of their students.
When I started this activity, I took it for face value: repurpose kitchen utensils. However, after I was finished and actually started to think about the activity more deeply and consider the connections to TPACK, I realized how much it could apply to my own experience as a teacher. As a special education teacher at a blended learning high school, I frequently found myself trying to figure out how to do things like use Edmodo as a means to deliver each student exactly what they needed to learn their targeted skills and work at their own pace. However, this activity and Dr. Mishra’s presentation made me realize that I could think outside the box, beyond just using tools as they were meant to be used and use tools in innovative ways to create new and exciting learning opportunities through the magic of repurposing.