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A TPACK Inquiry?

    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.   

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How do I Integrate Technology into my Practice? More Like How will I Continue?

So I have been asked to be interviewed on how I integrate technology into my classroom. I have to admit, at first I was a little freaked out. I started thinking I had to come up with these amazing things I have the students do. I do have the students doing some pretty amazing things using 21st century skills, but to me nothing earth shattering.

I took some time to think about what the question; how I integrate technology into the classroom?  I automatically started going through all the activities we do as a class, but I wanted to go deeper than that. I want to show how technology has integrated itself into my practice. Technology is not simply added to the lessons; it is a part of the lessons. Technology is not a part of my practice; it is a part of who I am as an educator.

 

Once again, I am brought back to TPACK. I recognize that many people do not know or are hesitant about integrating technology into the classroom. I am beginning to see that we need to be sharing with our learning community on what TPACK really involves. I am only beginning to see how in depth TPACK can be to our practice. I am beginning to see that our district is in need of a TPACK support group.

 

I feel that after our co-hort is finished, which I have to admit it is already beginning to feel that way, our support and encouragement will be gone. How can we ensure that we will continue our development of TPACK in our practice, if our support group is not there? I value the time spent discussing issues around technology integration in the classroom. I felt inspired to try new things; I felt that if I had questions I knew where to find the answers.

 

I get the whole PLN thing. In fact I really appreciate that I was given the chance to actually develop one. I do not think I would have had the opportunity if it was not for our co-hort. I do not feel that my PLN online will be as supportive and inspiring as our Monday night classes. I believe we need to create some kind of support system at the district level, not a learning team, but some sort of place where educators can go to share, inspire, collaborate, and problem solve as we dig deeper into this new century of learning.

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