Are You Down with TPACK?

This week’s assignment was learning about the Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Mishra and Koehler, 2006). This concept was introduced by Mishra and Koehler and serves as a mindset for using technology in education. The basic concept is that  technology is not the focal point of education. The “sweet spot” of teaching well is using the appropriate technology, with the best teaching approach for the topic, and given by an educator with the sufficient and correct content knowledge. The latest, greatest, and fanciest technology is not needed and may not even be a validated tool to achieve the educational outcomes (e.g.expensive high fidelity simulators in medical education). Another objective of the exercise was to learn how to repurpose existing digital technology tools for teaching needs. An article by Kereluik, Mishra, and Koehler (2011) explained it well. The concept was reinforced by having us do a “quickfire” activity. This is best explained on Leigh Graves Wolf’s website (Click here to view). The basic idea was to repurpose a tool to perform a task that it is not necessarily made for. We then needed to make a video demonstrating our task using a plate, bowl, and utensil. Click here to watch my video! For your education I also am introducing the Spurtle and the Pickleback.

This experience has been very enlightening and gave me an “aha” moment. As I mentioned in some of my assignments, I started a new position as Chief Academic Officer/ VP of Academic Affairs in October 2016. My task is to “systematize” the entire educational infrastructure at McLaren Health Care. I have over 5 clinical campuses with 450 residents and medical students from multiple schools. I also have oversight for continuing medical education for the over 40,000 providers in the system. One of the disappointments that I first encountered was how far behind the technology is (about 15 years). However, after learning TPACK, I realize that I do not need to spend a lot to upgrade to the latest and greatest. I can repurpose what we have. Additionally, most of our faculty are good clinicians but not good teachers. I am building a faculty development infrastructure to address this. Lastly, the faculty are too busy seeing patients and are often torn away from their teaching duties. I am asking for help from other non-physician, content experts within the system to help teach the residents (e.g. nursing, quality improvement staff, and patient safety staff). I now have a new strategy that will hopefully make my job a success. If you want learn more about TPACK click on TPACK FOR LIFE!


Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054

Kereluik, K., Mishra, P. & Koehler, M.J. (2011). On learning to subvert signs:Literacy, technology and the TPACK framework. The California Reader, 44(2), 12-18.

2 thoughts on “Are You Down with TPACK?

  1. I really enjoyed watching your video and the editing throughout was well done. I did enjoy the use of the ping pong balls and red cups to retrieve yor task. With the spoon provided I was interested as how you were going to get through the carrot but you easily improvised in order to get the job done. Your connection that you made from this activity to your workplace was interesting as you now have the mindset that most teachers do, work with the tools you have. I think this was a great point to explain from your prospective and I hope the plans you are beginning to create with your team help you move forward with the ideas learned from TPACK.


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