TPACK model

Whether you are an experienced maths or computer science teacher or not, we all need to look at our own practice critically to ensure that we have the technological (T), pedagogical (P) and content knowledge (CK) necessary to design great learning for our learners’ needs. The TPACK model is a simple way to think about this.

Technological Knowledge (TK): Knowledge about the use of technology, including how it works and how to operate it.

Pedagogical Knowledge (PK): Knowledge about teaching and learning, including instructional strategies, assessment techniques, and classroom management.

Content Knowledge (CK): Knowledge about the subject matter being taught, including concepts, theories, and methods specific to a particular discipline.


Image of the TPCK Model

As teachers, it is important to be able to reflect on our own practice as learners. The greatest gift we can give the learners in our classes is the understanding that learning is a continual process and to model what it means to be a great learner. Throughout the Hub, you will find examples of pedagogical practice, Digital Technologies curriculum content knowledge and references to the use of technology. While it is natural to be stronger in one area than another, we are aiming to move to a level of practice where our pedagogy is varied and purposeful, our content knowledge is strong enough to give us confidence to find out what we don’t know, and where we have a varied toolbox of technologies to choose from. As with any form of assessment, it may be useful to look at your own capacities against a self-assessment grid like the one below.

Use this checklist to assess your technological knowledge (TK), pedagogical knowledge (PK) and content knowledge (CK).

(TK) Technology: personal and class use

Select one:
I use no technology in my teaching and learning.
I rely heavily on one type of technology in my teaching and learning.
I use multiple types of technology in my teaching and learning.
I have a wide variety of technologies in my toolbox and am able to select when to use them judiciously.
I have a rich technology toolbox and am able to identify, source and use new technologies as required by my pedagogy.

(PK) Pedagogy: deliberate and varied approaches to learner centred

Select one:
I cannot identify any purposeful pedagogies I use.
I have a predominant approach to learning design which is didactic in nature.
I have several different pedagogies which I can switch to as a dominant style of teaching and learning.
I have a wide variety of pedagogical approaches and blend several approaches in every learning sequence.
I have internalised my pedagogical approaches so that I can react in an agile manner to learner needs, let go of control when necessary and experiment with new pedagogies confidently.

(CK) Content knowledge: Digital Technologies

Select one:
I have very little knowledge of the Digital Technologies curriculum.
I understand the reasons why we have a Digital Technologies curriculum.
I know several aspects of the Digital Technologies curriculum, such as hardware, software and algorithms.
I understand how the different aspects of the Digital Technologies curriculum interrelate but am more confident in some than others.
I can confidently explain, in depth, each aspect of the Digital Technologies curriculum and how they interrelate.

Assessing your own capabilities can be useful in several ways:

Self-awareness: It helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to focus on areas that need improvement and leverage your strengths effectively.

Goal setting: By knowing your capabilities, you can set realistic goals that align with your skills and abilities, leading to more achievable outcomes.

Professional learning: Identifying areas for improvement can guide your professional learning efforts, helping you acquire new skills and knowledge that are relevant to your field.

Career planning: Understanding your capabilities can help you make informed decisions about your career path, such as whether to pursue further education or training in a particular area.

Performance improvement: Assessing your capabilities regularly can help you track your progress over time and make adjustments to improve your performance.

Once you have completed this self-assessment, you can approach improving your TPaCK level by exploring some of the exemplars to see technology, pedagogy and content knowledge in situ. If you want some specific help with pedagogy, read the Effective pedagogies section in detail. If you need support on the content knowledge, have a look at some of the explanations in the topics and core concepts sections.

Here is an example lesson plan Buzzing with Bee-Bots and some ways TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge can be applied:

Technological Knowledge (T):

This refers to the knowledge of using digital tools like Beebots or online simulators. In this lesson, the use of Beebots or an online Beebot simulator is essential. Teachers need to understand how these tools work, how to set them up, and how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the lesson.

Pedagogical Knowledge (P):

This includes the ability to design effective learning experiences. The lesson plan suggests dividing the class into small groups, providing hands-on activities, and encouraging reflection. This aligns with good pedagogical practices for engaging young learners and promoting deeper understanding.

Content Knowledge (CK):

This involves understanding the concepts being taught, such as directional language, counting, and spatial awareness. The lesson plan integrates English (directional language), Mathematics (counting, spatial awareness), and Digital Technologies (algorithmic thinking). Teachers need a solid understanding of these concepts to effectively teach them to students.

Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK):

This is the intersection of T, P, and CK. In this lesson, TPK would involve knowing how to use Beebots or an online Beebot simulator to teach directional language, counting, and spatial awareness effectively. It also includes knowing how to design activities that engage students and promote learning in these areas using the chosen technology.

Overall, this lesson plan demonstrates a strong integration of TPACK principles by using Beebots to teach important concepts in Digital Technologies, English, and Mathematics, while also incorporating pedagogical strategies that are suitable for Years 1-2 students.