Today I had an amazing Pro-D day! I left feeling inspired and itching to get into the classroom. On my drive home I started thinking about my next field study inquiry. This will be my last inquiry for my TLTC program, and I want to make the last inquiry a conclusion to where I am now in my practice.
TPACK was introduced to me this term, and I feel quite passionate about the importance it could have on my practice as I grow as an educator. It is TPACK that has be re-evaluating my lesson and units plans, and it is TPACK that has me reflecting on why I teach the way I do. I see that as the 21st century learners begin to take over our classrooms we as educators need to embrace what they have to offer to us.
We need to be open to having students teach us and each other the new skills that come along with the digital shift that is happening in our world. As teachers we are here to help guide the students in their learning, and as it stands, technology will ever be present in our students’ lives. We too have been adapting with technology in our own lives; social media, online banking, online shopping, using Skype, and many more. If we are using it in our day to day lives we need to be using it in the classroom.
We do not only need to be using technology, we need to understand it. We need to understand how it affects student learning, how it reaches different learners, and why we use particular technological tools. TPACK gives me a way to look within myself and my practice, gaining confidence in using the tools available to me and my students.
Going back to my Pro-D day, I was in two different sessions. I took a teaching French session and a Technology sharing session. The entire time I was learning about different ways to teach a second language, I was thinking of how I could use certain technological tools to engage the students more into the lesson activities. At the same time, I was also thinking of how technology would engage me more into teaching French, which I admit is difficult for me.
I left today, with many wonders bouncing around in my head. I think it is invaluable to get the word out around TPACK. For me, when I was introduced to TPACK I had a light bulb moment. I became a little less uneasy about teaching with new technologies. I think it is important for other educators to see that they already have the content and pedagogy part down, it is how they can integrate technology into what they already do, it is more than integrating a cool tool into your practice.