TPACK description and rationale for the following technologies we used:

1. A wiki for planning and hosting the lesson

The wiki was chosen as a place for our group to collaborate our ideas together when we were not physically in the same location. We believe this shows our deep pedagogical knowledge about how we as teachers process information, learn best practices by being able to edit and give feedback on each others' work, and develop a Web 2.0 method of teaching each other and learning what problems and obstacles we encounter and how we dealt with them. This will help us when we use wikis in our own classrooms, so we can be proactive in addressing possible problems. This was a place for us to plan strategies to provide inquiry. We were able to locate, analyze, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information working independently, but also as a group. We were able to manage the project and make important decisions in order to aide a successful completion of a great project. The use of a wiki shows how we as educators see how today’s students thrive through using technology and are not only able to collaborate, but help each other through distance learning.

2. A video and podcast for the first part of the lesson

We created video that incorporated a podcast, pictures, video footage, and music for the first part of the lesson. These items are great examples of our understanding and use of all areas of TPACK. First, our content knowledge was apparent through our use of discussing different concepts in both mediums: Science was introduced immediately when discussing the healthfulness of brownies, Math was introduced by the pictures of the items we purchased at the store and through the use of measuring devices when following the recipe, and the PE lesson can begin after the brownies are cut into four portions. Second, our pedagogical knowledge was displayed by having students follow a simple recipe. We believe that subject specific content does not need to be kept separate, as is the case in the typical middle and high school education model. Our video and podcast lesson intertwines Math, Science, and PE content in a useful, real-life form. Finally, our technological knowledge is displayed through both the video and podcast mediums. We believe that students do not learn best from generic textbooks that rarely include real-life applicability. Also, our students will likely be more technologically advanced than ourselves, and creating lessons through these technological mediums will spark and hold their interest because they already use these in their daily lives to obtain information.

4. Integration of the Internet in our Math lesson and specific websites in our Science lesson

Math specific lesson: The math lesson we created gives students enough structure by giving them a framework of what they need to produce for a final product, but gives them the freedom to utilize any resource that best suits them. This shows our pedagogical knowledge because it shows our understanding of how today’s students construct knowledge and acquire skills, through having the choice of using the many different resources available to them. They also need to think critically as to how they are going to approach the project by first identifying the problem and important questions they will need to answer. Then they will need to plan how they are going to answer these questions through appropriate research. We will emphasize the importance of locating, organizing, analyzing, synthesizing, and ethically using information from their choice of sources that are appropriate for the data they need to complete the project. They can use the internet, their mom’s cookbooks, library books, or any other resource they feel most comfortable with. We will also emphasize the importance of giving credit to the authors of information they may use, whether it be on the internet, in a book, or in a podcast. Overall, this lesson was designed to get students’ minds off of typical textbook math and show them how exciting math can be when used in everyday life. They can use their technological knowledge by utilizing the internet as a resource as well as a place to collaborate on the project with other classmates. Math content knowledge is so important, and we believe students will develop a positive connotation with math by making it an enjoyable experience.

Science websites:

Understanding the Nutrition Facts Label

An Animated Explanation of The Digestive Process

Google Sites


Science specific lesson:

This lesson includes many components that will get the students engaged in the learning process. The study of something from their everyday lives is very interesting to them and pertinent to their awareness of proper diet. They see these labels everyday in their homes, at school and in the grocery store.  The individual nutrients included, however are rarely addressed except maybe for fat or protein content. As the teacher engages them by asking them to show some nutrition facts labels on their candy bar wrappers or soda bottles, they will be compelled to consider what is included there and perhaps to question why. The interactive website that explains the labels and how to use them to calculate your intake of nutrients, is a good place to start for this activity.

The next part of the activity is to research on the net for information regarding the ingredient assigned to their group. The teacher will provide guidance for this by including a list of sites that are appropriate for them to use and requiring them to use at least three resources to glean their information. Having the students work in groups will foster collaboration and help cement the things they are learning through their interaction with each other while they research and create their site. Baking the healthy brownies is just a way to have a little fun making something that will potentially open them to the fact that not all snacks have to be full of sugar or fat to be enjoyable. Lastly, the peer teaching will give the students confidence in their knowledge, for one’s understanding of a concept is made more complete when one is be able to teach it to others.

PE specific lesson:

I made a video made that talks about good simple ways to burn calories that can be done for PE, breaks from school, or at home.  I chose to make a movie to explain the idea of burning calories since its a fun simple way to learn the idea.  It can be shown in math or science as well when teaching about the rest of the project.  I chose to make it like a TV show episode because it would be a great way to make a mini series as I go along.  For the voice on the video I made a podcast that goes along with the video.  It's a simple technology that student can learn quickly and use for many different things.  I think kids will think its fun and goofy, but they will learn at the same time that their food choices matter.  In PE I feel children need to be away from screens, which goes against using technology.  I think kids need to be outside playing, and developing a love for activity.  My goal is for each student to find some physical activity they enjoy and will continue throughout their life.  I do think some forms of technology can be helpful in PE such as blogs to keep track of what they do physical outside of school, and heart monitors.  PE and technology is an area I plan to further explore as I continue in my education.

5. A student-created health and fitness blog

I created a blog for my U14 girls soccer team, THUSC Mercury.  The reason I created it is they have a lot of free time this summer and I want them doing something soccer and physical each day.  Every Friday each girl on Mercury needs to post what they did the following week.  They are allowed to blog as often as they would like but at least once a week.  The girls can get ideas from each other as well as hold each other accountable.  Two weeks into the blog it is going great!

THUSC Mercury Blog