One of the key points I took away from Shulman’s article was the concept of transformation. This idea seems timeless to me and even though he was focused on the PCK framework the idea that “comprehended ideas must be transformed in some manner if they are to be taught.”(Shulman, L.S. 1987) can be applied even in our 21st century context. He stated that preparation, representation, instructional selections, adaptations and tailoring are a continuum from “personal comprehension to preparing for the comprehension of others”(Shulman, L.S. 1987). I especially like how he describes adaption and tailoring as “fitting a suit” or as we describe it “a personalization of learning.” I believe that technology has opened up this idea of “tailoring” to such an extent that students if given the right technological tools can customize and explore learning goals in ways that my generation could never have imagined. For example take Scratch if you run students through the google CS First lessons you notice they will start to build projects that are completely individualized and often done on their own time. Tailoring is when you give them the ability to control their own learning and this when they start to self regulate.
I wanted to look at this quote in Mishra& Koehler’s paper on TPACK; “newer technologies often disrupt the status quo, requiring teachers to reconfigure not just their understanding of technology but of all three components.”Mishra, Koehler (2006). This is struck a chord because 3 years ago I introduced Minecraft into my grade 5 class and it has really changed the way I teach my students. When I want to take my students to Mars we build a rocket in Minecraft and blast off to the red planet. When I want them to learn about the Coast Salish people we run a survival server where they build a longhouse and have to find food and shelter before they perish. When I want them to learn about France we build the Eiffel tower and place a French restaurant inside it complete with menu’s. The virtual space has transformed the way I teach my students effecting my pedagogy and content. Before Minecraft I would certainly have used many interactive tools or apps to teach my students about these subjects but a Multi User Virtual Environment’s sandbox, interdisciplinary nature brings a level of excitement and intrinsic motivation from my students I have never before. I have also had many other technologies guide my pedagogy and content in a new direction. Google cardboard VR, 3D printing and raspberry Pi’s are all fairly new pieces of “Tech” to me and have altered my PACK framework significantly.
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. The Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054
Shulman, L.S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching. The foundations of a new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1)1-23
Thanks for sharing how technology has reconfigured the way you teach students. Technology when properly used can provide these transformative experiences for learners, allowing students to interact based on personal interest and ability. It certainly enables differentiated learning to accommodate universal instruction. I would imagine the first go at implementing technology comes with hiccups, but is quickly refined through iterations by students and teachers alike.