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Technology Integration Framework

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The integration of technology into the classroom, whether face-to-face, online or hybrid presents both opportunities and challenges. Fortunately, there is a rich body of educational research focused on this intersection. This research includes both practical application and theoretical frameworks. One such framework, TPACK, argues that in modern contexts, technological knowledge is an essential skill for all teachers to possess. This is because technology itself is woven inextricably through most aspects of modern society. This article will introduce the TPACK framework so that you can begin to consider it when integrating technology in your teaching.

The TPACK framework was first introduced by Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler of Michigan State University in 2006. This framework identifies three domains of knowledge needed to successfully integrate educational technology:

  • Content Knowledge (CK)
  • Pedagogical Knowledge (PK)
  • Technological Knowledge (TK) 

Each domain also intersects with the other domains. The knowledge, skills, and abilities developed where all three domains overlap and integrate cohesively is referred to as TPACK and forms the basis for effective technology integration. In order to teach effectively in today's modern classroom, it is important to balance all three of these domains.


In TPACK, all three domains of content, pedagogy, and technology are of equal importance and interdependent with one another.


Content, pedagogy, and technology integration

A Venn diagram of three intersecting circles, Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge, and Technological Knowledge.
Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by tpack.org

Throughout the course design process, consider how technology will integrate with content and pedagogy. In the same way that learning assessments and activities are selected to support the learning objectives, technology tools and abilities should be selected based on how they enhance and support the assessments and activities. With TPACK we see that technology is like salt, flavorings and broth in a stew. It enhances and supports the whole, and is not just a garnish to be added at the end of the course design process. 

TPACK manifests as a variety of skills such as the ability to evaluate and select the right tool for your pedagogic need, finding digital content specific to your discipline area, or operating a specific tool effectively.

An example of the TPACK for a social science class might be the knowledge of how to manage and assess student contributions to an online discussion forum in Canvas (TK), where students cite evidence arguing for and against (PK) the authenticity of authorship of key historical manuscripts (CK). 

In a medical context, an instructor might require knowledge of the interactive features of Zoom (TK) in order to deliver both a lecture (CK) and a perform a telehealth standardized patient simulation (PK), in a remote context.

Applying TPACK for students

The TPACK framework can also be extended to understand how students might engage with the instructional elements of the course. Particularly in an online course, careful consideration should be put into the TPACK intersections. If students are not comfortable or proficient with a technology tool, they may struggle to engage with the content. If pedagogic goals are unclear or poorly aligned, students may struggle to select an appropriate technology tool or technique to accomplish the course learning goals and objectives.

At Stanford, there are many experts to support instructors in developing the TPACK needed to effectively facilitate in person and online learning. Connect to academic technology specialists in CTL or in your program for more. 

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References

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledgeTeachers College Record. 108(6), 1017-1054.