Although the creators of TPACK have argued it is its own theory, we can see connections to the constructivist and cognitive theories.
The Constructivist Connection
The constructivist theory in education states that learners will construct new understandings and knowledge rather than passively taking in knowledge, integrating this knowledge with what they already know.
The constructivist theory relates to TPACK in that teachers rely on their own experiences and knowledge when constructing meaningful lessons using technology to advance student learning. As teachers learn new forms of technology and share that knowledge with their students, both teachers and students build on this new-found knowledge throughout the school year.
The Cognitive Connection
The cognitive learning theory in education explains how internal and external factors influence an individual's mental processes to supplement their learning.
The cognitive theory relates to TPACK in that teachers must evaluate how their students learn, examining what technologies may work best in order to enhance and engage student learning.
Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler, researchers from Michigan State University designed the TPACK framework in 2006 as they searched for a productive approach to the many challenges teachers face as they attempt to implement edtech in their classrooms.
The order matters
By differentiating among the three types of knowledge, the TPACK framework outlines how content and pedagogy form the foundation for effective edtech integration. The order is important because the technology must communicate the content and support the pedagogy in order to enhance student learning.
one size does not fit all
Any effective implementation of technology in the classroom requires an acknowledgement of the dynamic and relationship of content, pedagogy, and technology within the unique context of the individual educator, the grade level, the class demographics, and more, meaning every situation will be different.
TPACK combinations include:
CK: Content Knowledge refers to the facts, concepts, theories, and principles that are taught and learned in specific academic courses, rather than to related skills—such as reading, writing, or researching—that students also learn in school
TK: Technology Knowledge is used to describe knowledge about and the ability to operate specific technologies such as the internet. T-knowledge also includes the ability required to operate particular technologies.
PK: Pedagogical Knowledge refers to the specialized knowledge of teachers for creating effective teaching and learning environments for all students.
TCK: Technology Content Knowledge refers to knowledge about how technology may be used to provide new ways of teaching content.
PCK: Pedagogical Content Knowledge is a type of knowledge that is unique to teachers, and is based on the manner in which teachers relate their pedagogical knowledge (what they know about teaching) to their subject matter knowledge (what they know about what they teach).
TPK: Technological Pedagogical Knowledge is an understanding of how teaching and learning changes depending upon what technologies are used; knowing an array of different tools and their appropriateness within different strategies.
TPACK: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge is meaningful, skilled teaching which strategically uses technology to achieve learning.
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