Cooking with TPACK
What a fun and great way to gain understanding of TPACK. TPACK is a model used to identify what knowledge is needed to effectively integrate and use technology in the classroom. It stands for Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge. The models suggests that these three domains of knowledge and how they interrelate are necessary to effectively use technology in the classroom. See my last post for more detail on the TPACK model.
Cooking with TPACK was a lot of fun! It was a great way of understanding and practicing key concepts of the TPACK model. The activity required using 3 kitchen utensils to prepare a dish. The situation is similar to what often happens in the classroom. Teachers have one set of tools and a lot of content to cover in a classroom full of diverse learners.
As identified in the Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for Educators edited by the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology, there are barriers that exist that complicate and prohibit the use of technology in the classroom. One such barrier is “functional fixedness”. Functional fixedness refers to the ideas we hold about the function of an object. Functional Fixedness can inhibit the creative use of technology in the classroom. In my Cooking with TPACK activity, I was using three tools, kitchen tongs, a plate, and a plastic bowl. I needed to cut, slice, and scoop fruit in order to make a fruit salad. I had to think about the task, use my knowledge of the utensil and fruit, and plow through the barrier of functional fixedness to adapt how I used the utensils in order to successfully make the fruit salad.
I had to adapt the method of making fruit salad because of the tools I was using. I adapted my method by repurposing the tools in order to cut and slice the fruit to make the fruit salad.
An important concept I learned and practiced in my Cooking with TPACK activity relates to how content and technology influence each other. In the Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for Educators, the way technology influences and constrains content and the reverse is discussed. Teachers need to understand that their content will be influenced by the technology they use. In my Cooking with TPACK activity, the result of cutting the melon, or applying the technology, transformed the melon into a serving bowl for the fruit salad.
It was a great learning experience.