28 Apr 2006

TPCK - NGfL - separated at birth?

Thanks to the Narrator for putting me onto this. (I really liked your 18th April 2006 entry BTW. But then I am an aquward cuss who liked to upset the Art/Craft debate in Ceramics by insisting that they were ignoring Ceramics as a Technology)

Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)

In Shulman’s words, this intersection contains within it, “the most regularly taught topics in one’s subject area, the most useful forms of representation of those ideas, the most powerful analogies, illustrations, examples, explanations, and demonstrations - in a word, the ways of representing and formulating the subject that make it comprehensible to others” (Shulman, 1986, p. 9)

Pasted from <http://tpck.pbwiki.com/Pedagogical%20Content%20Knowledge%20(PCK)>

Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)

Teachers need to know not just the subject matter they teach, but also the manner in which the subject matter can be changed by the application of technology.

Pasted from <http://tpck.pbwiki.com/Technological%20Content%20Knowledge%20(TCK)>

Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)

Pedagogical technology knowledge is knowledge of the existence, components and capabilities of various technologies as they are used in teaching and learning settings, and conversely, knowing how teaching might change as the result of using particular technologies. This might include an understanding that a range of tools exist for a particular task, the ability to choose a tool based on its fitness, strategies for using the tool’s affordances, and knowledge of pedagogical strategies and the ability to apply those strategies for use of technologies.

Pasted from <http://tpck.pbwiki.com/Technological%20Pedagogical%20Knowledge%20(TPK)>

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK)

Technological pedagogical content knowledge is an emergent form of knowledge that goes beyond all three components (content, pedagogy and technology). This knowledge would be different from knowledge of a disciplinary expert, or a technology expert and also from the general pedagogical knowledge shared by teachers across disciplines. TPCK is the basis of good teaching with technology, and requires an understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies; pedagogical techniques that utilize technologies in constructive ways to teach content; knowledge of what makes concepts difficult or easy to learn and how technology can help redress some of the problems students face; knowledge of students’ prior knowledge and theories of epistemology; and how technologies can be utilized to build on existing knowledge and to develop new or strengthen old epistemologies.

Thus our model of technology integration in teaching and learning argues that developing good content requires a thoughtful interweaving all three key sources of knowledge — technology, pedagogy and content. The core of our argument is that there is no single technological solution that applies for every teacher, every course, or every view of teaching. Quality teaching requires developing a nuanced understanding of the complex relationships between technology, content and pedagogy, and utilizing this understanding to develop appropriate, context specific strategies and representations. Productive technology integration in teaching needs to consider all three issues not in isolation, but rather in the complex relationships in the system defined by the three key elements.


We argue that viewing any of these components in isolation from the others represents a real disservice to good teaching.

Pasted from <http://tpck.pbwiki.com/Technological%20Pedagogical%20Content%20Knowledge%20(TPCK)>

26 Apr 2006

Enquire - Map 3

This third map focusses more on what the 'you are here' art project might include.
I see it as being pretty informal in it's approach, possibly a one day workshop to sow the seeds of confidence, get an idea of everyones baselines skills and attitudes and set up a blog etc. From there on in, I would see the project as being mostly remotley conducted, but with optional half day workshops in schools perhaps on INSET days.

Those are my initial thoughts. Any comments?

Enquire - Map 2

This map is looking more at the functions that Enquire might fulfill.

Again, I am actively soliciting comments here.

Enquire - Map 1

These next three posts are going to contain links to 3 mind maps that I have been developing. They are very much works in progress, an attempt to try and work out where we are, what we appear to want, how things might look, and what might be useful tools for teachers in a more wholistic way than we have traditionaly been.

I don't think there is anything controversial here. The only thing that may appear to some as being a little 'left field' is the idea of an art project having such a prominant role in an ICT context.

It's a bit rough and ready, being a first draft, but it's here and I invite your comments.

24 Apr 2006

the idea (part 4 - Enquire)

I needed a name for the first part of the Idea, and so I chose "Enquire" as a big tip of the hat to Tim Berners Lee (Chapter 1 page 1- Weaving the web -1999) and because the first webpage I ever made was using lines from a copy of Enquire Within Upon Everything that I had found in Hay on Wye.

"When I first began tinkering with a software program that even gave rise to the idea of the World Wide Web, I named it Enquire, short for Enquire Within upon Everything, a musty old book of Victorian advice I noticed as a child in my parents house outside London. With it's title suggestive of magic, the book served as a portal to a world of Information, everything from how to remove clothing stains to tips on investing money. Not a per analogy for the Web, but a primitive starting point.

What that first bit of enquire code led me to was something much larger, a vision encompassing the decentralized, organic, growth of ideas, technology and society. The vision I have for the Web is about anything being potentially connected to anything. It is a vision that provides us with a new freedom, and allows us to grow faster than we ever could when we were fettered by the hierarchical classification systems into which we bound our selves(?). It leaves the entirety of our previous ways of working as just one tool among many. It leaves our previous fears for the future as one set among many. And it brings the workings of society(?) closer to the workings of our minds."

the idea (part 3 - context)

ICT in schools in Carmarthenshire used to be the responsibility of the Education Department. Last year it transfered to the Resource Department. No real changes have yet been made, recommendations have been made, but funding appears to be an issue.. things grind on at an "Local Authority" pace. And after three years and one month I am still on a temporary contract with slowly ebbing patience.

A while ago I read a BECTA document called Connecting Schools, Networking People 2002. In the introduction there is a diagram of the ICT National Strategy. There are three interlinked circles, a sort of venn diagram of concepts, Infrastructure, Practice and Content. There is no overlap in the centre. This immediately struck me as wrong. Surely it would make sense in a 'connected context' to have an area of overlap in the middle of thse three interlinked concepts?

the idea (part 2 - the elephant in the room)

Before I go any further with this idea, I am going to do something deeply unfashionable and quote some feminist academics because I view the world through a feminist lens and to not bring gender into this would feel a bit like ignoring the elephant that is stood in the middle of the room that everyone else is studiously not commenting on.

I dug out one of my notebooks from 1995 yesterday for and rediscovered this quote from the preface of Mapping the Moral Domain (Gilligan et al 1988)
"Children had been asked to write essays on how to improve their city.

To the boys improving the city meant urban renewal as we generally concive it: more parks, new buildings, renovations, better streets, more lighting.

Girls however wrote about improving the city in a way the reporter found surprising. They suggested strengthening relationships between people:responding to people in need and taking action to help them."

Wheras boys viewed it as an somthing that could be solved by upgrading the infrastructure, girls were viewing it in terms of relationshipis and connectedness. This appears to be quite a significant disconnect in the two world views.

This reminded me of Du Bois writing about the concept of "double conciousness" in 1983 and "the way women inhabit the world - they are part of society, but never quite of it. Women see and think in terms of culture yet have always have another consciousness, another potental language" I have been reminded of that quote so many times over the last few years while working as a woman in ICT.

the idea (part 1 - the background)

So, for a while now I have been formulating 'the idea'. It's not really one idea but a bunch of ideas that I think could be used to improve the way we teach ICT in schools. During the last 3 years my job has taken me to every primary school in Carmarthenshire, under the auspices of my role of 'Broadband Officer'.

Two things that I have really noticed during that time are that. I rarely come across a primary school teacher who sounds confident about using a computer for anything other than wordprocessing or email. The majority of these unconfident-with-technology teachers are women. I think that this is a problem. I think we need to take action to change this state of affairs.

The number of women in IT professions is falling, much of this is caused by the culture and image of the technology as being gendered and that gender being male. This culture and images is not going to change on it's own, and having childrens first 'official' experience of ICT in a educational context being from a teacher (of either gender), unconfident in the use of ICT is likely to re-enforce the image of ICT being 'difficult'. It also widens the skills gap between teachers who are currently being trained to use ICT in project based learning contexts and teachers who may have, some years back, been given training on office programs and a couple of sessions more recently on Interactive Whiteboards. We need to find a way of narrowing that gap.

Back when I studied for my Masters Degree in 1993, I read Seymour Papert and Sherry Turkle paper on Episimological Pluralism. In it they wrote:

The computer is an expressive medium that different people can make their own in their own way. But people who want to approach the computer in a "noncanonical" style are rarely given the opportunity to do so. They are discouraged by the dominant computer culture, eloquently expressed in the ideology of the Harvard course. Like Lisa and Robin, they can pass a course or pass a test. They are not computer phobic, they don't need to stay away because of fear or panic. But they are computer reticent. They want to stay away, because the computer has come to symbolize an alien way of thinking. They learn to get by. And they learn to keep a certain distance. One of its symptoms is the language with which they neutralize the computer as they deny the possibility of using it creatively. Recall how Lisa dismissed it as "just a tool."

Looking back on it, I suppose that was one of those life changing paragraphs. I had been more than 'computer reticent' when I had been in college. I did start using an Amiga and a paint program in my final year however and found it to be a useful tool, but, but more than that, a surprisingly fun tool to use. My discovery that computers could have such things as 'spelling checkers' spurred me to seek out further computer training after the degree course.

My time on a formal computer training course in Cardiff ITeC was the most miserable learning experience I have ever undergone. That experience was still pretty fresh when I went on to MA course in Ceramics, and in the spirit of postmodern enquiry, I made it my mission to deconstruct my experiences with technology and examine the relationships between Craft, Technology and Art. That work has been ongoing since then. In 1995 Papert put the idea of a $20
0 "high performance networked portable educationally oriented computational devices" just over 10 years on the $100 laptop seems creeps towards production. This speech from 1999 about Diversity in Learning is very reminicent of another thinker whose work is gaining influence in education is Howard Gardner and his work on Multiple Intelligences.

Although there is some debate as to the actual number of intelligences that can be identified (currently about 8.5) it is largely irrelevent as the crux of his work is that everyone has a differing set of intelligences and that because, of this people learn differently. To teach a group effectively requires that the teaching style encompasses different learning styles. This suggests that his theory is now gaining wider acceptance as it is widely quoted in A Curriculum of opportunity: Developing potential into performance.

I know from my own experience that I had a positive learning experience with computers when I used the Amiga to try out different designs and colour schemes for my studio practice and that I had a thoroughly dis-empowering and grim learning experience at the training agency when I was given an entirely context free tasks to carry out. If I had experienced the negative learning experience first then I think that it would have been highly unlikely that I would have opted for a career in ICT support. Because of the contrast between the two experiences, I have since felt driven to find a better way of teaching ICT to adults who are 'computer reticent' by using a more creative approach and finding a way of implementing this.

Note to self (seeing as I keep misplacing these links):
Useful Welsh Education Links: ESTYN, BECTA andACCAC/WAG.

20 Apr 2006

no IDea

I think I am due to get a new Passport next year, but I think I will get one sooner rather than later because of this ruddy ID card nonsense. It makes me mad as a box of cats that the government is persisting with this crap and even madder that the British people seem to think it a "good idea" and that there appears to be no political opposition to it other than the house of Lords and a small campaign.

And while we are on the subject of freedoms, Lawrence Lessig, a Director of the EFF and Law Professor at Stanford has a great site that is worth checking out if you have even the remotest intrest in copyright issues. The audio of the lecture on 'Free Culture' was outstanding, but sadly it seems unavailable today, byt at least there is a transcript available.

17 Apr 2006

separated at birth

Amos Latteier's 500lb Potato Battery and Anthony Gormley's Field.

14 Apr 2006

a good friday

It's a beautiful spring day here, so we took the dogs down the local beach, Amroth. B wanted to take photos of the 'minis' (The Dave and Gary Dolls). The tide was out so we walked right to the Marros end of the beach. I have a little tip for you all. If you ever find yourself on Amroth beach, don't try walking across the brown slippery rocks in the top right hand corner of the beach. they are REALLY SLIPPERY. It wasn't at all dignified.

I found this on Digg today and thought it pretty interesting, though my jury is out over just how much fun some of the serious games would be. This demo of a multi-input touch screen is really worth checking out. And finally, I came across this crochet reef yesterday. It is stunning, but pretty sobering to read that the Great Barrier Reef may be dead in 30 years.