The world at your fingertips A digital journey

Is it just about replacing pen and paper?

Course beginning: I had a general overview of the benefits of using technology in schools. Although I use technology on a daily basis, I hadn't spent time reflecting on the possibilities for education

It became apparent, over time, that the relationship between Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) were deeply intertwined and when harnessed in the right way can provide dynamic learning opportunities (Koehler, Mishra & Cain, 2013)

Digital technology in education; the challenges

  • Challenges exist in creating authentic and socially interactive lessons Dumont, Istance & Benavides (2012)
  • During observational placement, I could see that technology was mostly being used as an aid to a lesson or a motivator rather than the main vessel for learning
  • Papert, 1980 cited in Koehler et al. (2013) advise that schools don't always provid a supportive environment for using technology in teaching and hypothesise that this may be as a result of concerns ralated to the transparency of digital technology
  • Providing quality and meaningful learning about digital citizenship may pose challenges (Ribble, 2017). Following the class workshop tasks, I have gained experience of the kind of applications that might be suitable to support the development of this skill e.g. kahoot

How can technology be harnessed in education?

I began to see how understanding the connection between the aspects of TPACK could facilitate meaningful lessons in terms of using the right tool for the right lesson in consideration of the students I might have in front of me (Koehler et al. 2013).

Frameworks such as RAT (Hughes, 2010) exist to enable teachers to consider the use of technology e.g. if the tool serves as a different way of doing the same thing (R), increases efficiency (A) or reinvents the activity (T) (Huges, 2010).

Right tool for the students you have in front of you

E.g. apps such as Quiver could both increase motivation in learners and make learning complex concepts more tangible for kids. Using technology is about the quality of how the tool is used rather than how often it is used

Technology allows the teacher to cater for the learning preferences of their students in addition to the diversity of the students in their classroom e.g. using material relevant to their life experience

Catering for diversity

Future considerations for my developing TPACK:

  • Teaching technology effectively and becoming a modern teacher is about much more than knowing the right tools, its about a willingness to try without fear of failure (Dunmont, Istance, Bernadavies, 2012)
  • Technology offers increased motivation and engagement
  • Can adapt learning opportunities for individual students based on their skill sets e.g. those who struggle with creativity or written communication. Literacy skills could be scaffolded through programs such as Pixton or storybird
  • Provides opportunities for teachers to enhance their content knowledge e.g. using online resources such as Language Perfect for learning Māori
  • Technology can act as a vessel to support cultural competencies such as wānanga - communication with whānau by using a class blog using programs such as blogger or edublog

References and bibliography

Dumont, H. Istance, D. Benavides, F. 2012. Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. The nature of learning; using research to inspire practice. OECD publications. Retrieved from

Hughes, J, E. 2010. Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation: The R.A.T. Model. Retrieved from

Koehler, M. J. Mishra, P. Cain, W. 2013. Michigan State University. What Is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)? Journal of Education. Volume 193; 3. Trustees of Boston University. Retrieved from

Ribble, M. 2017. Digital Citizenship; using technology appropriately. Retrieved from:

Smeda, N. Dakich, N & Sharda, N. 2014. The effectiveness of digital storytelling in the classrooms: a comprehensive study. Smart Learning Environments, 1(1), 6


Created with images by stokpic - "hands world map" • Imamon - "Caveman" • StartupStockPhotos - "children win success" • falco - "hand children child"

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