I attended the Lausanne Laptop Institute in Memphis on Sunday, July 10 through Tuesday, July 12. All I have to say about it is if you’ve never been, make sure you advocate to go next year!
My school (The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA) is going to 1:1 integration next school year (2012-13). We just switched platforms from PC to Mac (very happy about that). I am the go-to person for technology in my department. And while I’m very comfortable with technology, I wanted to ensure I knew what some of the options and issues were with intentionally integrating technology into our teaching practice. The Institute provided exactly what I needed to get started with my colleagues and my students this coming academic year.
I began by attending a pre-conference workshop on Sunday, entitled “1:1 for Everyone” and got a whole host of tools from which to help my department develop a technology toolkit to use to enhance our teaching practice. One of the things we’re always concerned about, though, is making sure we’re not using technology for technology’s sake just to say we’re helping children develop 21st century skills.
Enter the TPACK framework. TPACK stands for “Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge.” It is a framework that attempts to get at the development and nurture of 21st century skills in our students by examining our own technological, pedagogical, and content-level knowledge and how we use it in the classroom. The idea is that all three forms of knowledge interplay with one another, and our teaching (as well as professional development efforts) need to all be balanced to reflect each of them. Here is a graphic of the model:
You can get more information about this framework at the TPACK website here. I found this framework to be simple, but powerful. Easy to understand, and not too many components to try to figure out regarding models of 21st century teaching and learning.
Bottom line, I will be working with my department to assess what technological tools are needed specifically for our discipline (Biblical studies, integrating history and literature as well) that will help us become better teachers and help our students become better learners of biblical studies.
Look for the next installment regarding the keynote presentation of the conference. Intriguing stuff!