TPACK & Microsoft’s Teacher Education Initiative

January 12, 2013 § 3 Comments

Over the past year or so I have been part of an exciting project conducted as part of Microsoft’s Partner’s in Learning project – specifically the team focusing on Higher Education. This is a project initiated by Microsoft “aimed at helping educators and students reach their full potential.” A key piece of this project is the Teacher Education Initiative. As the website says:

The Microsoft Teacher Education Initiative (TEI) is a workshop designed by School of Education faculty for pre-service teachers and their faculty.

The workshop consists of a series of modules that have been developed for several content areas (currently math, science, social studies, and English language arts/literacy as well as TPACK). The modules include a variety of activities that provide teachers and teacher education faculty members with content-based technology exemplars that they can use to help them combine technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK). Each module contains the following assets: facilitator’s guide, participant workshop guide, sample files, technology demonstration files, instructor PowerPoint presentation, and videos of module builders presenting the module.

TEI is accessible in three forms: as freely downloadable files from the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network; as preconference workshops at educational association meetings, and as facilitated Ministries of Education or university workshops. The workshops are highly interactive and participants will not only learn about technology but actively apply it to their own classroom experiences.
An introduction to the TEI project can be found in an editorial jointly published by leaders of ten education associations in the CITE Journal. Titled Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow’s Technologies, this editorial seeks to establish “a consensus to work together across associations to advance the goals of TEI.” Of particular interest is the fact that a key part of this consensus is this emphasis on the TPACK  framework. I was involved in early discussions (with Jim Ptaszysnki, Glen Bull & Mark Hofer) on the design of the first module that introduces the concept and sets up the context for the modules to follow.

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