Mishra, P., & Koehler, M.J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for integrating technology in teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054.
This article discusses TPCK, which involves 4 factors in teaching, in the context of professionally developing teachers. The TPCK framework is an attempt formalize the examination of teaching components for many purposes including understanding the common elements in all teaching. By breaking the teaching practice into these components. By modeling what Shulman originally formulated, the PCK construct, Mishra and Koehler have captured a way to fit teacher practices into a simple context by categorizing the interplay between content, pedagogy and technology. The article gives examples of learning technology by design such as through making movies, redesigning educational websites, and faculty development of online course design. The model shows us how the overlapping occurs so that we can adjust and tweak the course, curricula or program as needed. It can lend us the tools to evolve content and the ways we deliver it in a more agile fashion, since in the technological world we find today demands learning modules to adapt to new innovations, discoveries and accounts of a particular subject matter.
When integrating technology with the learning environments, the TPCK model gives us a theoretical way to approach the design and implementation of teaching and training for various levels of education, and for preparing teachers. With increasing use of digital technological tools, rather than just blackboard, chalk, paper and pencils, we need a way to model the complexities of the interaction among the factors. The article addresses how we can design learning environments, leveraging the practical experiences of seasoned teachers and giving us tools to create, test and implement compelling and effective lessons, modules, courses, sessions and even entire programs. Since teachers not only have to deliver content which they are expert at, using varied technology and pedagogy, they need to have a way to develop their skills beyond just being a practitioner and SME. Teachers are the best problem solvers for the challenges facing them in classrooms, so the TPCK model provides the framework for them to decouple the components involved in an instance of teaching. For example, since a teacher has volumes of content knowledge, they may not be as good at conveying the content, so they need to be trained in improving and enhancing their use of learning technology and develop better pedagogical skills. One particular approach that involved design was making videos. There are very powerful and capable technologies to enable teachers to design and develop video content, so the skills in doing so must be taught. So teachers need to develop production skills in authoring, editing, creating storyboards and implementing video for delivery online, through open repositories such as YouTube, but also for integrating it into local resources such as the LMS. Teachers have always had to be multidisciplinary in that even in a highly technical engineering or math course, they need to also reinforce knowledge of writing and reading, problem solving, even social skills. Now, we see that beyond the main content and the ancillary content, teachers need to be technologists and develop their technology skills in using devices such as video/still cameras, scanners, web authoring tools, software development, image editing, infrastructure issues such as technology in smart classrooms, file systems and servers, networks, databases and knowledge bases, data mining, big data analytics. These skills are becoming essential to design of learning environments, especially for online and blended courses. In addition, since digital technology content is very replicable, we can develop and design consistent content and leverage that to deliver and apply iterative revisions as new content emerges and old content is retired or replaced.
Since teachers are researchers for what works in their classroom, this article can help us find ways to design and build learning experiences and to integrate the content, technology and pedagogy. By finding where a particular instance of instruction fits into the framework of TPCK, through empirical research, we can see where it needs to be improved, where the components need to be integrated or disintegrated. We can use research methodologies to examine all of the combinations, intersections and integrations of the triad of components, as in the CK (Content Knowledge), PK (Pedagogical Knowledge), PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge), TK (Technology Knowledge), TCK (Technology Content Knowledge), TPK (Technology Pedagogical Knowledge), and the TPCK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge). Each of the three main components can be improved on a case-by-case basis for any teacher, through traditional professional development, but the added value of professionally developing the integration of the three is where applying the TPCK framework can have the most impact. In addition, we can further understand how changing or adding to one dynamically affects the overall balance and effectiveness of the learning experience. Finally, the TPCK framework gives us a usable scientific way to design, configure, apply, integrate, analyze, situate, contextualize, couple/decouple, improve the quality of, understand the relationships among, and transform our knowledge of the key components of technology, pedagogy and content.