As the integration of technology has emerged, I have found a distinct change in my pedagogical approach with students. One such change has occurred when teaching the concepts of Optics in the grade 8 Science curriculum. The lesson content is to get students to inquire about the question “Why is the sky blue?” and as a basis for our study of optics, to be able to work out over days the concepts of the spectrum, translucency, and refraction. Through developing this lesson at a time when technology was less pervasive in our environment, I experienced great success in this PCK approach.
In recent years, this same approach has been problematic in that students with technology merely search the question and immediately reveal the answer, “Rayleigh Scattering”, with little understanding of the concept they have found. With technology, my approach required a shift to TPCK ideals laid out by Mishra and Koehler (2006). The adjustments to my teaching have had to include “computer technology in a broader social, cultural, or educational context” (Mishra & Koehler 2006). That is, my instruction of this topic requires the class to address why the search engine answer of “Rayleigh Scattering” lends us little meaning until we can find a way to interpret this information in a meaningful and informative way.
With changing times comes the need for educators to adapt and include Technological Pedagogical Knowledge in their instruction. It is important that Mishra and Koehler’s “TPCK framework can be used to design pedagogical strategies” to better adapt to the changing needs of students in the classroom.
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. The Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054.