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Here is the problem…

The Discussion Board Prompt and my response.  The TPAK framework is here – it is a really interesting model and is not hard to read.  Dr. Penny has really had me fired up the past few weeks!!

First, describe the topic or concept and explain why it is difficult for learners to understand it. Then, after you have defined the problem, explain what technology you would use and how you would use it to help students overcome those difficulties.

Math teachers are only available for one hour of class time and then, if you are lucky, 30 minutes at some other point in the day.  We have been teaching math the same way since Pythagoras introduced all of his brilliant theorems all those many years ago: the teacher speaks, maybe draws some stuff in the sand (chalkboard), takes a couple of questions, class over.

People all over the world struggle with math and, in my humble opinion, it is becuase we are teaching it all wrong.  Students usually get one shot to understand very complicated material – sometimes a couple of shots.  But if you don’t understand the first time you see it, trouble comes calling and math becomes very difficult.

I think that technology can provide some help with this challenging topic.  Technology is not the big solution, sweeping in to save the day.  Technology is part of a process of dialogue that can help students get comfortable with the math and become confident in their math skills.

This is why I am in love with TPAK – its like a mini circle of life.  Teachers have to understand the content that they are teaching.  Technology will not make me an instant, super amazing, English teacher.  I have no pedagogical knowledge at all about English.  I hav a hrd enuf tym…I do know technology, I do know math, I understand and can utilize mathematical pedagogy.  These things give me the super power to reach students on any continent at any time.

By using some screencasting software, google docs, and a writing tablet, I can create a video that a student can watch at any time.  I understand common mistakes that students make and can point those out.  Students can skip to the parts of the math where they are having difficulty.  Students can rewind a part that they are fuzzy on.  Students can Tweet me a question when they get stuck.  Students can rewatch challenging concepts before a test.  Students can learn when they are ready.  No longer is my lesson occuring for students in 1 hour chunks of time.  They can get content and feedback almost 24/7/365.  How is this bad?

The cool thing is that students can ask me questions during our time together.  They have the opportunity to talk with other students about common issues.  They can ask me very specific questions about the content.  I will use my pedagogy to help them understand and create connections to other places.

As teachers we should always seek ways to help our students, right?  So if technology can help me do that, why would I not use it?


About Scott

My name is Scott. After 18.5 years as a high school math teacher in public education I have made the move to become a full time PhD student. This decisions was difficult, but has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. Teaching in high school was an incredible experience for me, so leaving an environment that I loved for the unknown was a challenge. As I high school teacher, I taught almost every math course that could be offered. I was able to earn National Board Certification in Young Adult Math. I was honored as my building Teacher of the Year, no mean feat at Edmond Memorial High School!! My career changed as I became fascinated with educational technology and all of the things that it can do for teachers. I flipped my class. I used iPads and blogging (in high school math!!). I started using gamification and mastery learning. I changed my practice. I chose to go back to school to learn as much as I could. To bring that knowledge from academia and research to the teacher on the front line. I have had the opportunity to present at several conferences and share what I have learned with others. Its through these connections that we can be the best teachers we can for our students. They deserve it and we sell ourselves short when we don't give it. I love talking with teachers about change. About incorporating educational technology. About the power that they have to change lives. My blog space is me, it shares my passions and frustrations, my joys and my learnings. If you are interested in what I am studying, please visit my graduate school pages. If you are interested in the flipped classroom, I have some links to get your started. I would love to meet you! Do not hesitate to reach out! I would enjoy the opportunity to work with your staff or trade ideas with your teachers - let me know! Have a great day! #BeBrilliant


2 thoughts on “Here is the problem…

  1. I think the framework exposes one of my major issues with technology in the classroom and teaching teachers. That is the content component. I understand the pedagogy and the technology but when working with teachers I do not have the content. Teachers have the content and the and pedagogy but are missing the technology literacy. It is difficult to help create when we are missing these critical components.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by aboatman | October 26, 2015, 9:02 am
    • This is where having an opportunity to collaborate is critical. If you can help the teachers see the benefits of technology, they can apply it to their specific classrooms.

      This is my personal mission – help teachers see that technology can be beneficial. It is not a silver bullet and will not solve every problem…BUT it can be a difference maker 🙂


      Posted by Teaching From Here | October 26, 2015, 9:48 am

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