The TPACK framework addresses the kinds of knowledge teachers need in order to engage students in the 21st century classroom. Central to TPACK is the fact that no two students or teaching scenarios are alike, and therefore teachers must always be ready to adapt. This requires extensive knowledge of pedagogical techniques, the content being taught, and any technology being used. Adapting technology usually means repurposing devices or programs to meet different needs or situations. To drive home this idea, my instructors from MSU’s MAET program asked me to complete a TPACK quickfire challenge in the kitchen. With a random bowl, plate, and utensil chosen by someone else, I had to prepare a cheese platter.
This activity certainly helped me broaden the term “technology”, which could be anything from an eraser to a projector. Just as I repurposed the whisk to slice cheese, seeing multiple possibilities in everything can help teachers become more resourceful in the classroom. From the students’ perspective, the more creative teachers are by repurposing resources in the classroom, the more this will lead students to think creatively about what is available to them. Nothing could be more important for learners in the 21st century.