In this blog post I will do a post reflection of the Evernote journal project with the lens of the TPACK integration model, especially since after recently being part of conversations around this with the elementary school teachers.
“Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) is a framework that identifies the knowledge teachers need to teach effectively with technology” (http://www.tpack.org/)
The model has very clearly defined roles for Content, Pedagogy and Technology, and works towards planning for perfect blend of all three, off course within a context.
For the Coetail project the content for the units was already well defined – ‘Plants’ science unit or India Week
These are the science content enduring understandings for the Plant unit – Student will understand that
- Living things have basic needs that need to be met in order for the plant to thrive and grow.
- All living things are systems made up of different parts that help them perform a job
- The continuity of life is sustained through reproduction and development.
- Living things interact with one another and their environment for existence and balance
These are India Week content understandings for the module –
- Sensitize the students to the host country’s culture and history
- The history and beliefs related to major Indian festivals and celebrations
- Explore traditional and contemporary literary, visual and performing arts of India
- Understand basic systems of belief in India
- Understand India’s contribution to the world
- Reflect on connections between home and host country
Reading and Writing understandings: Students will understand that –
- Nonfiction readers read to become learn more about the world.
- Nonfiction readers use more than just the words in the book to make sense of what they are reading.
- Informational writers are writing to teach their readers about a topic.
The Pedagogy is a teacher’s “understanding of how students learn, general classroom management skills, lesson planning, and student assessment.” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009)
During some thinking sessions, the 2nd grade team had these insights into building the Inquiry process (an pedagogical approach) for the units. They said –
- “Our current science content has a lot of activities, but not as much authentic inquiry. Maybe we let go of some of those activities to help kids have some ownership around forming a question they are really interested in knowing more about. This inquiry process opens up a whole range of tools for finding information. Maybe we use this as a controlled release of the inquiry project: 1st = whole class, next = small group of students working on the same question (rather than managing an entire classroom of separate questions)”
For the Evernote plant journals one of the 2nd grade group had used the “Think Puzzle Explore”, a Making Thinking Visible routine, to build inquiry with the whole group using Evernote. A teacher created note (click here to access the note) with guiding questions was pushed out to the student’s plant Notebooks. Then they worked independently on the ipads to record their reflections/ thinking. Using Evernote enabled the controlled release of the inquiry.
The Technology, in this case, used was the Evernote service. The structure and nature of this tool helped with adding another dimension to the process. It helped build for independence (for both teachers and students) and connections (with content and pedagogy)
Some of the reflections from the second grade team included –
- “Having a science journal – using Evernote – gives kids a place to keep their work. Using Evernote this year, we found ourselves doing lessons about how to grow our ideas”
- “Thinking about getting to a point where we can give kids choices about how they show us their thinking and learning (Paper, Evernote, Video. .. ) Still, we need to think about the standards we are going after when we give choices if we give a choice that doesn’t unpack the standard, we need to keep an eye on that”
- “Video can be a form of publication for a written script”
Using Evernote as a journaling tool gave independence to the students. They were in control and it allowed for both enhancing and modifying classroom pedagogy.