San Diego Unified School District embraces TPACK

by | Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I had written recently about TPACK being the top story on eSchoolNews (see TPACK is top story on eSchoolNews or go directly to the article: TPACK explores effective ed-tech integration). What I didn’t realize at that time is that there were actually three stories about TPACK, one in August that I had blogged about and two in Septmber. The two that I had missed were actually more interesting to me personally since they dealt with the manner in which the TPACK framework was actually being used in schools. Both these stories deal with the manner in which the San Diego Unified School District is embracing the idea of TPACK as a key piece of their strategy to transform how their students are taught.

These two other articles (also written by Senior Editor Laura Devaney) are titled (a) San Diego explores effective ed-tech integration through TPACK: New professional development model focuses on the intersection of technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge; and (b) Reinventing education: As schools nationwide examine new federal priorities, San Diego unveils a five-year plan to transform the way students are taught

This news makes me extremely happy, for the simple reason that this means that our ideas have moved beyond graduate school curricula, beyond research articles, beyond doctoral dissertations into actual practice. This is every educational researcher’s dream. Here are some key quotes from these articles.

The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) has embraced a concept called Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) in its professional development model, to ensure that the smart use of technology drives every aspect of classroom teaching and learning.

As technology becomes an increasingly important tool for teaching and learning, this relatively new concept, which focuses on how educators can integrate technology effectively into their instructional practices, is making its way into pre-service and in-service teacher education programs.

TPACK is based on the work of Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler, both associate professors of educational technology in the College of Education at Michigan State University.

Here’s another:

“We worked closely with the [district] Educational Technology department to design a professional development program that is all-encompassing,” LaGace said. “When you look at the TPACK model, it gets around to improving the whole classroom experience. … It puts the focus not on teaching teachers how to turn on a Promethean Activboard, but why to turn it on.”

Why turn it on? What a profound question, and one that hopefully will be asked by every teacher in San Diego.

Can you guess why I love my job? 🙂

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