Tuesday, October 10, 2017

TPACK - Tech Integration Series

*This post has been written as part of my journey through my Master's Degree in Curriculum & Planning through Brandon University

     This post is Part TWO of a four-part series titled Model Mayhem where I am exploring and critiquing different models of tech integration. For each model I will provide a general overview of the model, what it might look like in a classroom setting, and attempt to critique the pedagogical theory and foundations behind the model's development.

     The first model of the series was the SAMR model, a four-step model of tech integration designed to improve student outcomes, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. You can read all about that post by clicking HERE.

     The second model of the series that we will be discussing today is the TPACK or TPCK model, a three-component model of tech integration designed to identify the knowledge required by teachers to integrate technology in their classrooms; built off the work of Lee Shulman.



TPCK, tech integration models, TPACK in the classroom, using TPACK, using TPCK
TPACK. (2012). Uploaded by Koehler and Mishra. Available online at: http://tpack.org/
TPCK, tech integration models, TPACK in the classroom, using TPACK, using TPCK
TPACK World Cloud. (2013). Uploaded by ilborukedtech. Available online at: https://lborukedtech.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/tpack2.jpg

Short video introduction of the TPACK Model

Introduction to the TPACK Model. (2014). Uploaded to YouTube by Common Sense Media. Available online at: https://youtu.be/EmRw_wkARuM

Full length slides & lecture of the TPACK Model



TPCK, tech integration models, TPACK in the classroom, using TPACK, using TPCK
Beginning with the End in Mind. (Accessed 2017). Uploaded by Tracy Clark. Available online at: https://www.smore.com/w1cj-tpack-as-a-model-for-change 

TPCK, tech integration models, TPACK in the classroom, using TPACK, using TPCK
TPACK Game. (Accessed 2017). Uploaded by Public Schools of North Carolina. Available online at: http://ncltitpack.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/RePack+Your+TPACK
TPCK, tech integration models, TPACK in the classroom, using TPACK, using TPCK
Integrated TPACK in Teacher Education Program. (2015). Uploaded by Gur and Karamete. Available online at: http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/ERR/article-full-text/068A05B51888



Concept Development Timeline*
- 2001
     - Pierson uses the term TPCK to describe teacher's technology integration
- 2005
     - Koehler & Mishra use the term to describe a knowledge-base for teachers using technology
     - Niess uses the term to refer to technology-enhanced PCK
- 2009
     - Angeli & Valanides argue that TPCK is a unique knowledge-base unto itself rather than growth in the three domains
      contributing the TPCK as described in 2005
     - Cox & Graham argue that technology has always been a part of Shullman's original PCK model 
- 2011
     - Bowers & Stephens argue that TPACK is more about a teacher's orientation towards technology than a fixed knowledge

*Timeline based on research from Voogt, J., Fisser, P., Pareja Roblin, N., Tondeurt, J., & van Braakt, J. (2012). Technological pedagogical content knowledge - a review of the literature. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Retrieved October 10, 2017 from, https://ai2-s2 pdfs.s3.amazonaws.com/fc67/9e00468ed22c40d11bcd84aae0462c40d89c.pdf 

Educational Philosophy

     When looking at the TPACK model as a way to describe the knowledge required by teachers to successfully incorporate technology I would argue that TPACK tends to follow a essentialism educational philosophy. I say this because the three realms are shown as essential skills for educators to have and a mastery of these concepts, in balance, showcases the "great teaching" that can occur. The venn diagram approach is systematic, has clear symmetry, and provides practicality for users; all of which model aspects of an essentialism philosophy.

     When looking at the TPACK model and the impact appropriate technological integration has on students I would argue that TPACK tends to follow a progressivism educational philosophy. I say this because the ever-changing nature of technology and emphasis on individual classroom/student contexts echoes Dewey's focus on an ever-evolving reality for students. The use of technology opens up increased opportunities for multi-media platforms and interdisciplinary approaches to subject manner; all of which model aspects of a progressivism educational philosophy.
Ornstein, A. C., & Hunkins, F. P. (2013). Curriculum: foundations, principles, and issues. New Jersey, US: Pearson Education.


     When comparing the TPCK/TPACK model to my critique of the SAMR model I appreciate the various sources of information that I can find explaining the model and the theories behind it, from the TPACK website itself to a host of many peer-reviewed scholarly articles.

     I am a fan of how this model accounts for the three realms of content, pedagogy, and technology and emphasizes that "great teaching" can occur when all three are accounted for.  I agree with the Common Sense Media video I embedded above when they say that it is easy to get excited about a new technology and how some educators begin designing lessons around the technology rather than accounting for content and pedagogy first.  I believe the TPACK model can help alleviate some of the frustration educators find when they rush into using a technology simply for the sake of using technology and then find it is not working for their specific classroom context. If content and pedagogy drive the purpose of using a technology then classroom integration should function much more smoothly than if we try to use a technology just to say we used it.

     Unfortunately, I feel as though my B.Ed degree and most PD I have attended tend to focus on either content, pedagogy, or technology and not necessarily how to use these realms simultaneously. Alternatively I feel like many educators have a strong PCK or TCK but much of our formal training in pedagogy or our pedagogy experiences have not involved the technology we have access to today. Understanding the TPC realm and how it has to shift from a more traditional approach can be a big undertaking for some educators.

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Role of School Administration in the Success of ICT Program Implementation: Traditional vs. Distributed Support Models

An administrator’s role in their building or district is becoming increasingly complex as today’s education system involves multiple stakeholders and programming needs.  One such role includes the development and implementation of technology use within their facility(ies).  The use of technology by educators and their students is becoming an essential component of interacting successfully within our globalized 21st century society.  Successful programming, however, requires an administrator to be directly involved in all aspects of any technology-based implementation from planning, to classroom use, to troubleshooting.  An administrator that is directly involved in the implementation of an information and communication technology (ICT) program with their staff will have more program success than those who only offer encouragement.
Introduction - Why is ICT Implementation Important?
As members of the future workforce and society, today’s students require guidance and education, in order to successfully navigate and utilize the digital world that they were born into.    Acknowledging the importance of becoming digitally literate, the provincial and territorial governments of Canada have been developing various forms of information and communication technology (ICT) curricula, which will assist students in their skill development.  School-age children have a unique set of experiences awarded to them due to the digital age in which they were born.  However, their birth date alone is not sufficient to equip them for navigating the digital world without support.  Successfully utilizing technological tools and communicating within the digital world requires that students incorporate a skill set that differs from other aspects of their life.  An ICT curricula that is implemented with purpose and support produces direct benefits for the students, such as enriched learning opportunities, ease of life, and practical post-secondary preparation.  For these various reasons, investing in the digital literacy and education of all students is important, in order to help students navigate the digital world that continues to evolve before their eyes.  
The Role of Admin within ICT Implementation
Integration of an ICT program is not only the responsibility of policy-makers and classroom teachers, but also the responsibility of the administrative team at a school and division level.  Teachers have identified that new technology programs and activities would be easier to implement if they could work as part of a team to support one another and exchange ideas (Stephenson, 2013, p. 11).  However, it has been found that although most school leaders have positive opinions towards technology, they fall into two very different categories in regards to their approach: (1) distributed principals who work closely with their teachers and ICT teams to ensure effective implementation and (2) formal principals who offer positive encouragement towards ICT ideas but do not personally participate in planning or training (Peterson, 2014, p. 302).  Of the two types of leaders, the schools that commit to ICT development as a team initiative and focus on collaboration and communication are more successful in their implementation than those schools who force a top-down approach with minimal support (Peterson, 2014, pp. 304-310).  In order to support their teachers effectively, school leaders need to keep up to date with new technology programs and tools, and model appropriate use for their staff (Waxman, Boriack, Lee, & MacNeil, 2013, p. 193).  Furthermore, an effective ICT implementation should be one that includes long-term planning with school leaders and addresses budgeting, hiring of necessary specialists, teacher training, and long-term maintenance plans (Peck, Mullen, Lashley, & Eldridge, 2011, p. 47).  Thus, in addition to provincial ICT policies, an effective administrative team that is committed to the purposeful implementation of an ICT program also contributes to successful implementation, which benefits both staff and students.
Distributed Administration Structure
Peterson (2014, p. 305) identified administrators who approached technology implementation with a distributed support structure as those who saw themselves as a team-member alongside their staff; where every person involved in the program goal shared in the successes and challenges of the journey.  This style of administration support fosters a culture of respect amongst staff members and is a high predictive influence on the long-term adoption and implementation of an ICT program (Baylor & Ritchie, 2002, p. 40-411).   The distributed support structure provides teachers with access to multiple resources and a network of colleagues that can assist in planning and troubleshooting from different perspectives.  Upon study of the role leadership plays in technology implementation Peck (2011, p. 47-48) noted that school leaders who were actively involved in successful implementation programs shared the following characteristics: (1) they developed long-term implementation plans in advance, (2) worked with staff to determine individual needs such as PD, (3) created formal support networks to assist with challenges, (4) showcased program successes and (5) developed and enforced consistent technology policies for staff and students.  The team approach of the distributed support model can result in an increased morale amongst staff members as they feel supported in implementing new technologies because of a belief their administrators have systems in place to help ensure program success (Baylor & Ritchie, 2002, p. 410-411).  Furthermore, positive attitudes towards technology encourages participation amongst both staff and students (p. 397). When an administrator is able to recognize the value technology has to staff and students they are more likely to participate alongside their staff members in the implementation of such programming which in turn can result in increased program success.
Formal/Traditional Administration Structure
Peterson (2014, p. 302) identified administrators who adhered to a formal/traditional support structure as those who respond to teacher-directed technology implementation with support but are not directly involved in the planning or training required to meet the program goal.  While appearing positive and encouraging to their staff this style of administration support offers only surface level  assistance and can negatively influence long-term adoption and implementation of the technology in question (Ritchie, 1996, as cited in Waxman, 2013, p. 188).  The formal/traditional support structure provides teachers with autonomy to develop and implement programs that suit their interests and classroom needs but can hinder long-term success by not accounting for required infrastructure or policy modifications.  A study of high schools in the Southeastern United States documented examples of how the formal/traditional structure contributed to implementation challenges including: (1) requiring staff to maintain online and offline records in case of technological failure which required staff to double their workload, (2) not providing sufficient professional development for staff, (3) allowing wait times for maintenance of technology tools to exceed two months and (4) not enforcing policies relating to technology that lead to inconsistencies between staff members (Peck, 2011, p. 43-45).  The removed nature of the formal/traditional support model can result in staff members feeling frustrated and not valued as they do not believe their administrators truly understand what they are doing within their classrooms (Peterson, 2014, p. 306).  This perception may be accurate as a study by Waxman (2013, p. 191) concluded that the majority of administrators believe that the primary function of technology in their building is for professional communication, not instruction or student learning.  When an administrator is unable to recognize the value technology has to students they are unlikely to participate alongside their staff members in the implementation of such programming which in turn can result in the failure of such endeavours.   
In summary, the role of an administrator needs to evolve to include the implementation of an information and communication technology (ICT) program that will equip students for the higher-level skills required for being successful in the digital world.  A positive attitude towards technology, however, is insufficient when it comes to ensuring programming success within their facility(ies).  School leaders who adopt a distributed support model that places them alongside their staff as a team-member will see a much higher chance of implementation success than those who adhere to a formal/traditional support model that, while positive, are unwilling to walk-the-walk.  Baylor & Ritchie (2002, p. 412) summarize this topic eloquently with the simple statement, “The bottom line appears to be that administrators who wish to nurture a technology culture need to figuratively ‘‘roll up their sleeves and join in’’ rather than sitting by the side.”

Baylor, A., & Ritchie, E. (2002). What factors facilitate teacher skill, teacher morale, and perceived  student learning in technology-using classrooms? Computers and Education, 39, 395-414.

Peck, C., Mullen, C. A., Lashley, C., & Eldridge, J. A. (2011). School leadership and technology challenges: Lessons from a new American high school. AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice, 7(4), 39-51. Retrieved from http://www.aasa.org/uploadedFiles/Publications/Newsletters/JSP_Winter2011.FINAL.pd f

Peterson, A. (2014). Teachers’ perception of principals’ ICT leadership. Contemporary Educational Technology, 5(4), 302-315. Retrieved from http://www.cedtech.net/articles/54/543.pdf

Stephenson, G. (2013, September). Flipping the classroom upside down. The Manitoba Teacher, 9-11. Retrieved from http://www.mbteach.org/library/Archives/MBTeacher/Sept13_MBT.pdf

Thompson, Kirsten. (2016). "Digital Literacy and the ICT Curriculum", BU Journal of Graduate Studies in Education. 8.1, pg 10-13.

Waxman, H. C., Boriack, A. W., Lee, Y., & MacNeil, A. (2013). Principals’ perceptions of the importance of technology in schools. Contemporary Educational Technology, 4(3), 187-196. Retrieved from http://www.cedtech.net/articles/43/433.pdf

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Educational Technology: Cure-All or Waste of Time?

*This post has been written as part of my journey through my Master's Degree in Curriculum & Planning through Brandon University

This week our Internet for Teachers (#BU755) class delved into the question of:
Why are there disparate views towards the effectiveness of technology in education?

disparate views towards effectiveness of technology in education, does technology increase student achievement, the relationship between technology and achievement, educational technology
Middle School Enrichment Courses. (2016). Uploaded by ASB Online Academy. Available online at: http://www.asbacademy.org/asb-middle-school-enrichment-courses/

When it comes to educational technology (ed tech) I find that it can be one of those ed topics that can become incredibly polarizing. You either find educators who are enthusiastically supportive of the implementation of various forms of ed tech or you find educators who will use ed tech if they have to but tend to stick with other materials and strategies that they are more comfortable with. Admittedly I fall into the first category and can sometimes be guilty of finding myself in an "echo chamber" that supports my beliefs because many of my colleagues who I chat with regularly share this interest with me.

Our discussion this week, however, was not simply centred on our views towards ed tech but rather does educational technology make a significant difference when it comes to student achievement in the classroom.

When it comes to educational research it was brought up that one must always question the context of the research that was performed. Education is never a black-or-white scenario. Education is full of grey-areas that are subject to such a high number of ever-changing variables that make it difficult (if not impossible) to transfer the results of educational research to different classrooms. Even within my personal teaching context I can say with 100% confidence that a particular teaching strategy will produce different results depending on the time of day, the attitude of my students, my personal attitude, the subject we're studying, the topic we're discussing, etc.

This viewpoint was echoed by Oblinger and Hawkins (2006) who co-authored an article titled, The myth about no significant difference, in which they open by challenging those who claim to have results for either side of this argument as a student's learning never occurs in a "no-tech only" or "high-tech only" situation. Our students are surrounded by various forms of technology throughout their day and the authors argue that the question shouldn't be about whether technology has increased student achievement but rather one of the following:

1. Do we think of technology as a solution in itself or as a means to an end?
- adding technology without altering our pedagogy is not a solution

2. Do we assume that using technology is an either/or proposition?
- technologies can blend, one does not have to completely replace another

3. Have we identified those processes and activities we want improved and looked at how technology can facilitate those actions?
- technology makes learning opportunities more readily accessible and flexible

4. Are we doing the same things with technology or are we taking advantage of the unique capabilities of technology and redesigning our activities?
- don't replicate pencil and paper tasks; add other elements to enhance the learning opportunity

This video clip of Nicky Hockly appears to share a similar viewpoint to Oblinger & Hawkins.
"Does technology help students learn better? It depends...."

Does technology help students learn better? What does the research say? (2016). Uploaded to YouTube by Oxford University Press ETL. Available online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6mr4bzzXtU 

The authors went on to argue that learning does not occur simply as a result of technology it depends on a number of factors including:

1. Motivation
- this all depends on what students are motivated by (which can change rapidly)
- technology can make motivation opportunities more accessible to students

2. Opportunities
- technology can help provide opportunities for all students

3. Learning as an Active Process
- the more active = the more learning occures
- visuals, simulations, collaborative opportunities, etc can assist in increasing activity

4. Interaction with Others
- any space can become a learning space due to wireless options
- rural and remote barriers can be lifted

5. Transfer Learning to Real-World Situations
- various versions of what someones "real world" looks like
- augmented reality, video conference with experts, blogging, etc can bring in the real world

When reflecting on my personal beliefs towards the question, does educational technology make a significant difference when it comes to student achievement in the classroom, I find myself siding with the authors. I do not believe that technology alone can have any significant difference on student achievement. As with anything that is implemented in the classroom it relies on a number of factors that can change as our learning situation changes. As educators it is our duty to implement technology with purpose that is backed by strong pedagogy and rooted in curricular theory. While technology alone cannot increase student achievement in the classroom being aware of the factors affecting student learning, accounting for your classroom's unique variables, identifying a purpose, and backing all plans with strong pedagogy and theory will allow for the highest chance of success.

Weekly Reading References:
Post (old interview) with Larry Cuban on change in education - still relevant commentary. https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/fads-and-fireflies-the-difficulties-of-sustaining-change/
Nantais, M. (2014). Social media pedagogy: A multiple case study. (unpublished doctoral dissertation) University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB. pp 40-50.
Oblinger, D.G., & Hawkins, D.L. (2006). The myth about no significant difference. Educause Review, 41(6), pp 14-15.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Room 132 Info

     The 2017/2018 school year is in full-swing!

Here is where you can find out more about our classroom and
keep up-to-date with the amazing learning my students are uncovering.

manitoba youtube channel, manitoba teacher, manitoba education, ste rose school, kirsten thompson

A post shared by Mrs. Thompson's Classroom (@thompsonclassroom) on



Canadian History Blog

ICT for Teachers - Back in the Blogging Game!

*This post has been written as part of my journey through my Master's Degree in Curriculum & Planning through Brandon University

Is there anyone in the blogosphere that still has me added to their RSS feed? 

If you are joining me as part of class #BU755 then welcome!

     It has been a long absence from this blog (over a year in fact) but that doesn't mean I'm not still here! In fact I check into my blog pretty regularly as it was my constant source of documentation over the past 4 years. I often check back on past posts to remind myself of how I approached a certain curriculum, what I did with a particular class during a specific topic, or find articles I posted for previous university classes. While I was able to blog with various levels of frequency for 4 years I fell right off the wagon last September as I began the rewarding but ever so demanding journey of returning to teaching after my maternity leave. Needless to say balancing motherhood, work, my Master's program, and the regular demands of life left little time for blogging. 

     I will be here regularly now as I have recently started a new course as part of my Master's program titled: Internet for Teachers. In fact, the professor of this course is the one who helped me start my blogging journey way back in January of 2012! One of the requirements is to blog about our learning, connect with our peers through our blog, and build our PLN. Hopefully this is just the push I need to get back into a blogging routine that I will maintain more frequently in the future.

My introductory selfie from our class Padlet.
     I look forward to connecting with my peers throughout this course, sharing my learning, and rebuilding my blogging network. Thanks for joining (or rejoining) me in this journey!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Classroom Assessment Chapter 12


     To help us work towards our school goal of improving our understanding and practice of assessment, my principal has provided our staff with a copy of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right - Using it Wellby Jan Chappuis, Rick Stiggins, Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter. As I make my way through the book, I will be summarizing my learning as a means of organizing my thoughts and getting clarification on particular ideas.

Classroom Assessment for Student Learning Cover. (Accessed 2016). Uploaded to Amazon; Pearson Education. Available online at: https://www.amazon.ca/Classroom-Assessment-Student-Learning-Doing/dp/0132685884

Chapter 12 - Conferences About & With Students

Kinds of Conferences
Chappius, et al. (2012). Figure 12.2 Kinds of ConferencesClassroom Assessment for Student Learning, pg 387.
Feedback Conferences

- make sure students know what learning targets will be discussed before the meeting
- you can ask students to reflect on strengths/weaknesses before the meeting
- Keys to Success
     - focus on the intended learning (identify strengths & help guide improvement)
     - offer feedback
     - only offer feedback if the student demonstrates at least partial understanding
      - do not do all the work for the student
     - limit corrective info to the amount a student can act on at one time

Goal-Setting Conferences

- can refer to one piece of work or a collection of evidence
- not necessary for every student
- Keys to Success
     - clarify the learning target
     - clarify the students' current status
     - state the target as a goal
     - make a plan
           - what action will they take
           - what assistance do they need? from who?
           - what is the time frame?
           - collect before and after examples
           - ensure student ownership; don't set the goals for them

Progress Conferences

- typical parent-teacher night conferences
- can focus on growth over time or on a student's current achievement status
* personal preference is for student AND parent/guardian present 
- meeting agenda
     - explain learning targets
     - identify strengths, help guide improvement
     - provide evidence/exemplars of student work
     - end positive
* provide conference evaluation forms, follow-up as needed


How often do you hold formal conferences with parents?

Please leave your thoughts below :)

Classroom Assessment Chapter 11

     To help us work towards our school goal of improving our understanding and practice of assessment, my principal has provided our staff with a copy of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right - Using it Wellby Jan Chappuis, Rick Stiggins, Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter. As I make my way through the book, I will be summarizing my learning as a means of organizing my thoughts and getting clarification on particular ideas.

Classroom Assessment for Student Learning Cover. (Accessed 2016). Uploaded to Amazon; Pearson Education. Available online at: https://www.amazon.ca/Classroom-Assessment-Student-Learning-Doing/dp/0132685884

Chapter 11 - Portfolio Assessment

* a collection of artefacts put together to tell a story

Types of Portfolios
Chappius, et al. (2012). Figure 11.3 Kinds of PortfoliosClassroom Assessment for Student Learning, pg 368.

How to Select Artefacts
Chappius, et al. (2012). Figure 11.4 Who Decides? Classroom Assessment for Student Learning, pg 371.
Keys for Successful Use

1 ) Ensure Accuracy of Evidence
- "each entry is only as good as the assignment given"
- verify with the student that the artefact is showing what you both want it to show

2 ) Keep Track of the Evidence
- find a system that fits your personal organization style
     a ) how will you store the artefacts?
          - digitally (photos of projects, computer files) or hard copies
     b ) how will you organize it?
          - hanging files, binders, notebooks
     c ) how will portfolios be stored?
          - flash drives, filing cabinets, shelving
     d ) schedule updating time
          - don't leave it for a rush before parent-teacher time

3 ) Invest the Time Up Front
- teach students about portfolios 
     - why we do it
     - how do you set one up
- model how to complete meaningful reflections
- do first submissions together so you can pass off responsibility later

4 ) Make the Experience Safe
- students can feel stressed by publicly sharing


I don't use formal portfolios in our classroom; the closest thing would be collecting samples of work to showcase to parents right before parent teacher meetings (would be classified as a "celebration" portfolio).

Do you use portfolios?
If so, what kind?

Please leave your thoughts below :)