Cooking with TPACK

16 Jun

This week’s assignment for CEP 810 has been to engage in a “quickfire” activity in which we are given a random choice of one task (out of five possible tasks) to complete using three randomly chosen utensils. empty fridge

We were given the option of taking up to three mulligans, however, when reading the five choices of activities, and given the current state of my refrigerator, I was going to just select option number four (making a PB&J Sandwich) to complete. But, because of this assignment, I was inspired to go grocery shopping to buy some things to take over to my grandpa’s house in order to cook a Father’s Day Dinner, so I ended up with a refrigerator full of fruits, veggies, and chicken paprikash!

My husband (and camera-guy) randomly chose for me to cut up fruit using a normal cereal bowl, a serving platter, and a spoon. I had some strawberries, bananas, grapes, cherries, and pineapple that were going to be used for a fruit salad to take to Grandpa’s house. I began by cutting the easiest fruit (strawberries and bananas), advanced to the mid-difficulty (cherries and grapes) and gave up when trying to cut the pineapple. Take a look at the video!

The audio is a bit spotty because my camera-guy kept putting his thumb over the microphone on accident.

Yes, there is a U of M hat in the background, sneakily placed by my husband. We are a house divided.

So, what did I learn? Not surprisingly I learned a number of things. First, much to my own chagrin, I learned that I really need to go shopping more often. No fruit, no vegetables, no cheese…oh boy. This shouldn’t be much of a shock, given my commentary on some of my previous blog posts (I wasn’t kidding about not cooking!).

But more importantly, I took to heart the connections being made between Cooking with TPACK and Teaching with TPACK.

Cooking with TPACK. In this activity, the Technology Knowledge (TK) was my knowledge of the chosen utensils–how they typically work and function in the kitchen setting. The Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) was my knowledge of how to complete a particular task (i.e. preparing the various types of fruit for a fruit salad). The Content Knowledge (CK) was my awareness of what a fruit salad actually is. These ideas / learning experiences blended together beautifully when given the task of making a fruit salad using only a spoon, cereal bowl, and serving platter. I found that without the proper technology (knife) some tasks become impossible. So while a spoon would have been an excellent piece of technology for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it is pretty much useless when trying to cut a pineapple. This exemplifies the TPACK framework; a teacher must carefully and deliberately select the technology that will best accomplish the task at hand.

Teaching with TPACK. In the case of my 1:1 iPad classroom, the TK is my knowledge of the apps, Internet websites, and email that can be harnessed through a specific pedagogical practice, based on my PK, that will combine with my CK of literature and composition to enhance my students’ learning. It is so beneficial to finally have a framework in which to approach technology integration in the classroom, and the terminology in which to have a dialogue about this integration! At my school, there is an underlying fear of technology integration–and understandably so! It is important to remember that following the TPACK model in designing lesson plans is essential to prevent a “technocentric” classroom. Many teachers fear that we are simply providing students with additional and unnecessary gimmicks and gadgets for learning. When a teacher follows the TPACK framework, however, she carefully selects the technology that best assists the particular task to be accomplished, and this makes all the difference.


21CLearning.  (2012, March 26).  Punya Mishra – Keynote speaker @ 21st Century Learning Conference – Hong Kong 2012 [Video file].  Retrieved from

Kereluik, K., Mishra, P. & Koehler, M.J. (2011). On learning to subvert signs: Literacy, technology and the TPACK framework. The California Reader, 44(2), 12-18.

Mishra, P. & Koehler, M.J.(2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. Retrieved from

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