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Teaching and Learning Tip #41: The Intersection of Teaching, Learning & Technology

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Tip #41: The Intersection of Teaching, Learning & Technology

Contributed by Kim Vincent-Layton, Center for Teaching and Learning

How can technology support teaching and learning?

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to explore this question with a group of HSU teaching credential candidates.  We used the TPACK theoretical framework (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) to guide our thinking around creating engaging, equitable learning experiences. In essence, TPACK provides educators with the autonomy to make informed choices around practice and technology to best support the learning content. In small groups, these teachers designed and presented lessons that identified the interplay between content, pedagogy, and technology. A reflection of this activity produced a variety of ideas and questions. Here are a few:

  • Almost anything can be used as technology
  • TPACK is useful in connecting to "real world" experiences
  • There are many collaborative learning opportunities with TPACK
  • How to take risks in teaching
  • How can a tool such as Google drawing, be used for co-creation of ideas?
  • How can technology be distracting in learning?
  • As educators, how do we adapt, evolve and thrive?
  • How do we help our learners thrive?
  • How can student choice be cultivated through TPACK?

These thoughts helped to inspire ideas and thinking in both our practice and our students’ learning. As educators, we are constantly shifting and adapting as new knowledge and ways of thinking emerge. TPACK gives us the the opportunity to create new forms of knowledge that might not otherwise exist by exploring the intersection of three primary forms of knowledge: content, pedagogy, and technology. The TPACK framework provides access and enhances student learning through the interplay of these primary forms of knowledge (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).

How does TPACK inform our teaching? While we can have a deep understanding of each individual primary form of knowledge, it is the intersection that is key. It’s about intentionally choosing the pedagogy and technology that will best support the content in ways that enhance learning. Let’s look at an example:

The What: The discipline (CK - content knowledge) is biology and students are given a case scenario to learn about muscle physiology.
The How: Perhaps flipped learning (PK - pedagogy knowledge) is the method chosen to help learners engage with the case scenario before they come to class. This would be an intersection of CK and PK, which gives students further access to understanding the content and applying their knowledge/thinking.

The Sweet Spot: Add technology (TK - technological knowledge), such as PlayPosit, to create interactive videos that create further engagement in course content and help prepare students for reflective discussion (helping students learn how to learn (Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, & Norman (2010)). In this context, we have TPACK - the intersection of all three forms of knowledge to create deeper understanding.

TPACK cultivates thriving experiences! At the Center for Teaching and Learning, this framework guides our work in partnering with educators to create impactful learning experiences that not only inspire, but create opportunity for further innovative thinking. What are the some of the ways you use technology? Please share by sending us an email,, or drop by the CTL (Library third floor) for coffee/tea so we can explore together.


Ambrose, S., Bridges, M. DiPietro, M., Lovett, M., & Norman, M. (2010). How Learning Works: 7 Research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Koehler, M.J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.

Browse all the Teaching and Learning Tips on the CTL website

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