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For this post I have been asked to complete an experiential activity that illustrates the TPACK framework, particularly the importance of repurposing technology for educational purposes. I don’t think I can explain TPACK better than Punya Mishra himself did at the 21CLHK conference held in Hong Kong in 2011. Click here to watch his excellent keynote speech; while long it’s funny yet thought provoking.

So for this activity my wife and her friend were told to pick out three items from the kitchen for me to use and then I had to use those tools to complete a randomly selected task using whatever ingredients were available.

Tools: Big Knife, Standard Issue Ikea Dinner Plate, Pretty Green Bowl

Task: Make a plate of veggies

I got pretty lucky here, as you can see! Chopping up vegetables requires a knife, and it all looks better when displayed in an attractive serving bowl. As far as how this might relate to education, I’ve got two major takeaways from this activity. Sometimes you use a tool for a task when it’s unnecessary (in my case the plate) and it would just be quicker and easier to ignore the tool. A teaching example would be if you had students type out a short paragraph, print from their computer, and then trade paragraphs with a neighbor for editing. You could accomplish almost the same exact thing in a quarter of the time if students wrote their paragraphs out by hand. The second takeaway is that sometimes you get lucky and you really need a certain tool. Just imagine if my wife’s friend had picked out a pair of chopsticks instead of the knife!

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