maandag 28 november 2011

Reflection of Pedagogies for Flexible Learning supported by Technology

For the past two months I followed the course Pedagogies for Flexible Learning supported by Technology, given by Dr. Petra Fisser. This course really was een eye-opener. Especially in terms of the integration of technology in schools. From my Teacher Training (which I did before this master) I knew that content and pedagogy have to be combined properly when giving a lesson. Yet, this course brought the' T' in my perception of a good lesson. Also, I learned about how to integrate it. The lectures were very interesting, it had hands-on approaches which made it active and we had some nice guest lectures.


I became acquainted with the TPACK model (which I described in my previous blog). I really like working with this model, because it is very useful for practice in real teaching. When I think of the future I want to play a role in improving (curriculum in) schools. The TPACK model is a nice way of integrating technology in schools. Because schools cannot hide for technology. Technology is steaming up in society and since school is a preparation for society, children have to have knowledge of technology. On the other side of the medal can technology support learning. And this is what I would like to enhance in integrating technology. When technology is integrated in a good way, and is combined well with the chosen pedagogy and content, learning outcomes are likely to improve.

Stimulating teachers

But how do we make sure that teachers are really integrating technology? There can be several hindering factors. Teachers can lack technological skills, teachers do not want to use technology, teachers do not have the facilities, or teachers do not know which technology to use with what pedagogy and content. Some things (like facilities) can not be changed a lot (except buying technology). But teachers can be stimulated in integrating technology. First of all, teachers really have to see the benefits of using technology in their lectures. They have to be convinced that this is good for their pupils. In my opinion this needs a lot of talking with the teacher, but also doing things with technology. Give teachers workshops, stimulate use of technology in meetings and do classroom observations. This way teachers will also generate skills and get confidence in using technology.

Professional development and TPACK based lesson

In the final presentations I saw good examples of such professional development for teachers. When a school register for such a professional development and let teachers pursue it, I am sure that the integration of technology in that school will take a big step.

My group and I made a TPACK based lesson for a primary school. Also this lesson can be bought (for a friendly price) by a school to present teachers (or let teachers work with) a lesson where technology is really integrated. In this lesson we combined the use of Smartphones (T), Inquiry learning (P) and (A) 'Parts of the plants' (C) Knowledge (K). When designing this lesson we really worked as educational designers. We carefully chosen combinations that would fit well and a context where it is able to execute it. I feel that the cooperation in this project went well. The members of our group were from different cultures and backgrounds and I think we were really complementary. Very interesting. Also, we used technology ourself when completing this task. We used Dropbox for storing and sharing files and a QR generator from internet for example. Designing this lesson was a good experience to learn to work with the TPACK model. We gained many learning situations in which we can grow our professional development as educational designers in various contexts and conditions.

woensdag 26 oktober 2011


The TPACK-model

Hello again. The past week we digged deeper into the TPACK-model. In this blog I will explain this model, talk about the added value of this model and I will give my reflection on it.

The TPACK-model consists of three components of knowledge: pedagogy, content and technology. In the model are also the interactions among these bodies of knowledge conceptualized: PCK, TCK, TPK and TPCK.

I will describe this several concepts and their relations now, based on Koehler and Mishra (2008):
- Content knowledge (CK). Knowledge about the actual subject matter that is to be taught and learned.
- Pedagogical knowledge (PK). Deep knowledge about the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning and encompasses overall educational purposes, values and aims.
- Technology knowledge (TK). Goes beyond traditional notions of computer literacy to require that persons understand information technology broadly enough to apply it productively at work and in their everyday lives, to recognize when information technology can assist or impede the achievement of a goal, and to continually adapt to changes in information technology.
- Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Covers the core business of teaching, learning, curriculum, assessment, and reporting, such as the conditions that promote learning and the links among curriculum, assessment and pedagogy.
- Technological content knowledge (TCK). An understanding of the manner in which technology and content influence and constrain one another.
- Technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK). An understanding of how teaching and learning changes when particular technologies are used.
- Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK). An emergent form of knowledge that goes beyond all three components. It is an understanding that emerges from an interaction of content, pedagogy and technology knowledge. Underlying truly meaningful and deeply skilled teaching with technology, TPACK is different from knowledge of all three components individually.
- Blue circle: The content, pedagogy, and technology and the complex interactions among these elements are demonstrated in the multitude of specific instructional situations and contexts.

Added value

In my opinion, TPACK is the basis of effective teaching with technology. In other blogs I posted about pedagogy and technology. TPACK is the interaction of these bodies of knowledge together with content knowledge, both theoretically and in practice (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). Also flexibility is important. In last week’s college we made a lesson with the model about ‘global warming’. We had to think about the content, pedagogy and technology; but also about the relations between them. We really had to think about several pedagogies and technologies which would fit with the content. Therefore, we had to be creative and flexible. A teacher also have to be flexible.

So I think that the added value of TPACK is highly dependent on the teachers. Because they are the ones who have to connect these technologies to their teaching practice in such a way that it supports learning. The TPACK model is a way of supporting teachers in integrating technology in their teaching (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). This model is useful for teachers because it is viewed from a teacher’s perspective and it helps teachers to think in a structured way about their teaching.

Teachers also have to have technology knowledge. Technology develops very fast. Therefore the teacher needs specific knowledge in this area to judge what ICT can mean for education. Just dealing with ICT is not enough, the teacher must have a functional understanding of ICT to create their own conceptions of it (Voogt, Fisser & Tondeur, 2010). He does not need to know and manage every new technology or ICT application. What the point is, is that he is able to quickly assess which possibilities a new technology has to make a certain subject matter easier to understand. ICT can change subjects. Examples of this are the construction of models in science, GPS with geography and hypertext in language. It is important that the teacher sees these changes and adjust his teaching practice where possible.

So there are some conditions where the teacher has to cope with. Knowledge of pedagogies and technologies is important, even as a flexible attitude. But I think nowadays we may expect this of a modern teacher. Combining content, pedagogy and technology (so, using TPACK) helps teachers in their learning to reach their goals. Technology offers so many advantages –gaining attention, better understanding for learner etc.- and combined with the right pedagogy and sufficient content knowledge the teacher has with the TPACK model a very effective way of teaching in hands.

In addition, the TPACK framework encourages research in teacher education, teacher professional development, and teachers’ use of technology (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). It allows teachers,
researchers, and teacher educators to move beyond oversimplified approaches that treat
technology as an “add-on” instead to focus again, and in a more ecological way, upon the  connections among technology, content, and pedagogy as they play out in classroom  contexts.


Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.

Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2008). Introducing TPCK. In: AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology (Ed.) Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for Educators. (pp. 3 - 29). New York: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and Routledge.

Voogt, J., Fisser, P., & Tondeur, J. (2010). WAT WETEN WE OVER ..............TPACK? Een literatuurstudie naar Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Kennisnet

dinsdag 18 oktober 2011

Cool Tools for Schools

Wow! Wish I noticed this site earlier! I checked out, a very nice website with a lot of different technologies which can be used in school. These are sorted in categories like:
Presentation tools, Collaborative tools, Research Tools, Video Tools and more... Because of my background in Teacher Education all topics are very interesting for me. 

For instance Presentation tools are very useful to gain attention from pupils. If the teacher has an attractive presentation the pupils pay more attention. Also collaborative tools are very useful, to make teamwork more motivating. In the categorie research tools I saw a very nice tool called: I was very intriged by this site. Because when teaching children you have to make certain things clear. When doing this I already made use of different tools like video, pictures, drawings. However, this site presents answers to questions of children so clear that it exceeds all my attempts. The site presents answers to allmost any question by a demonstration video. For instance a demonstrating of Newton's Law. As a teacher you can try and explain it to your pupils, but this video seems far more efficient.

woensdag 12 oktober 2011


Hi! Welcome to my new blog about Pedagogies for Flexible Learning.
Unfortunately, my previous blog was removed, so I had to make a new one.
Therefore my first blog about Flexibility is also lost.

My second blog is luckely saved and is also shown in this new blog. Next weeks
I will post more about Pedagogies for Flexible Learning and the relation between
Technology, Pedagogy and Flexibility...

dinsdag 11 oktober 2011


Wednesday 5 october professor Gerald Knezek visited the course Pedagogies for Flexible Learning at the UT. He gave a lecture about Simschool. In this blog I will describe what Simschool is and give a reflection on it related to pedagogy and technlology. 

Simschool is a simulation of a classroom. With this program teachers can practice their pedagogical skills on the computer. The teacher can let students work on different programs and see if this fits with the students learning style. Also, the teacher can talk to students in different ways. Every student is different and need a different treatment. When you click on the laptop you see the characteristics of the student. As a teacher you have to deal with that and fit your actions to this. After a lesson you can see what impact your actions had on the students by gathering data including academic, openness and consciousness.  

“Everly’s bad day”
Everly’s bad day’ is a module on Simschool where there is one student to teach: Everly. Some characteristics of Everly: talks a lot, likes variety and interaction, learns best by "doing", likes to work with others; is generally positive and enthusiastic; likes to plan and have structure, needs closure, completes every task, wants everything "to count" toward the grade; creative, makes up hypotheses, improvises answers, takes risks. So, as a teacher you have to respond to that. Taking this characteristics in account effective things to do are probably things like ‘take a pop quiz’, ‘play a game’, ‘make a creative product’ (10 minutes each). When doing this things you indeed see that Everly’s motivation and academical skills improve.

I think Simschool can be a helpful tool to practice teaching. It simulates the classroom in a good way, in that respect that every child needs a different approach. Simschool lets you think about what activities and pedagogical approaches are suitable with the students characteristics. The teacher can think of this in Simschool and make comparisons with students in their real classrooms. So I think Simschool is a great way of using technology in teacher education to simulate the teaching process. However, the teacher have to take in account that a real classroom is of course a different kind of teaching than this simulation. In a real classroom you don’t have a list of characteristics for each child. You have to find them out yourself! And maybe you’re wrong… In a real classroom the teacher has to act immediately and can’t think for a minute how to react to a certain stimulus. I think a very good think about Simschool is that it is not focusing on behaviorism, which is often the underlying psychology for many forms of computer-based education (Reeves, 1994). Because of the different characteristics of students and how to respond to that, it places much more emphasis on internal mental states (cognitivism).


Reeves, T. C. (1994). Evaluating What Really Matters In Computer-Based Education. In: M. Wild & D. Kirkpatrick (Eds.), Computer Education: New perspectives, pp. 219-246.