Teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Learning Activity Types: Curriculum-based Technology Integration Reframed

This article is comforting in the sense that it reassures me, as an educator, that technology knowledge (TK) is a “conceptualization…to be developmental, evolving over a lifetime of generative interactions with multiple technologies” (2009, 398). But is also daunting because, as Harris, et.al., state on page 399, “the flexible use of tools becomes particularly important because most popular software programs are not designed for educational purposes.” So, this begs the questions, What do I do? and How do I begin to organize the tangled Web?

The article begins to answer my questions through examples of the multiple uses of whiteboards and various examples of specific teachers integrating technology and content successfully and the importance of collaborative brainstorming. But, what activity goes best with what technology?

Harris, et.al., help begin the tedious organization and brainstorming task by providing tables on pages 408-411. These tables “help teachers become aware of the full range of possible curriculum-based learning activity options and the different ways that digital and nondigital tools support each” (2009, 400). Which also lends itself to instructional differentiation via the multiple tools and uses for each tool.

As the article convinced me, content knowledge and technology have evolved together and must, rather, will continue to do so, “Content (be it physics of engineering or sociology) shapes new technologies and offers new uses for existing technologies, while at the same time the affordances and constraints of technologies shape how this content is represented, manipulated, and applied” (2009, 400). Doesn’t this imply the necessity of integrating technology knowledge and content knowledge so that our students can be successful and influential citizens in our future democratic society?

Harris, J., Mishra, P., Koehler, M. (2009). Teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge and learning activity types: Curriculum-based technology integration reframed. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(4). 393-416.