TPACK for Teaching

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This constructed model of teacher knowledge, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), attempts to identify the types of knowledge teachers hold for integrating technology into their teaching, while addressing the complex nature of what teachers must know to teach successfully in their field or area (Koehler, 2012). The TPACK framework was first described by Mishra and Koehler in 2006, and extends Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

Identify components of the TPACK Model

Review a TPACK Infographic with definitions by Mark Anderson (2013).

Select the hotspots on the H5P image below to learn about the components of TPACK.

Review this video for a video explanation of the TPACK model.

Common Sense Media. (2016). What is the TPACK Model? Video.

Review the Model

In this “drag and drop” H5P activity, drop the examples into the hotspots on the TPACK image.

Apply the Model in Your Teaching

Although written for a K-12 audience, Judy Harris, Mark Hoffer, and colleagues (2010) developed an approach to integrating technology into instruction by identifying and categorizing learning activity type taxonomies. The authors provide examples in which they

  1. Identify the content/curriculum area (e.g., mathematics)
  2. Identify an activity type (e.g., such as practice/computation or evaluate/test a solution)
  3. Provide a brief description of the activity type (e.g., “The student systematically tests a solution and examines whether it makes sense based upon systematic feedback, which might be assisted by technology.”)
  4. Identify example technologies that might support the activity type (e.g. graphic calculator, concept mapping software, interactive whiteboard)

The authors aim to emphasize “the primacy of pedagogical content knowledge in both instructional planning and technology integration processes as we have conceptualized them” (p.603). As well, they aim to create greater awareness of different activity types in a particular content in order to increase awareness of instructional strategies that can accommodate learners and support learning.

Tips for ensuring TPACK (rather than PCK)

Some of these tips are adapted from Anderson (2013).

  • Use content and pedagogy knowledge to drive technology selection
  • Use college-licensed tools, which provide access to training and supports for faculty and students
  • Create a learning culture that fosters technological skill development
  • Engage in educational development to further and deepen skills

Implications and Extensions

Decades after its initial description, researchers and practitioners discuss the extent to which the model is still relevant and applicable not only to understand and enhance teacher knowledge but also to improve education systems. In the recorded presentation below, speakers also discuss how the model has been researched, transformed, and applied in different contexts.

Learn more via the website or the TPACK Academy.


Harris, J., et al. (2010). “Grounded” Technology Integration: Instructional Planning Using Curriculum-Based Activity Type Taxonomies. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 18(4), 573-605

Koehler, M. (2012). TPACK explained. TPACK ORG.

Koehler, M (2017). A brief history of TPACK. [Video.]

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record108(6), 1017–1054. CITATION

Elan Paulson

Elan Paulson, PhD, has been an educator in Ontario's higher education system since 2004. Before joining Conestoga as a Teaching and Learning Consultant, Elan was on the executive team at eCampusOntario. She previously served as Program Director and as an instructor in professional education programs at Western University's Faculty of Education. With a Master's in Educational Technology, Elan specializes in technology-enabled and collaborative learning to support diverse learners. She has also conducted research on faculty participation in communities of practice for professional learning and self-care.

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