NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH T-PAIN: There's no shortage of acronyms and lists intended as mental shortcuts for educators to make good on professional requirements and objectives. But in the rare case that you find enough gray matter for one more (we've been smarting since PEMDAS), take a hard look at TPACK. Conceived by Michigan State Profs. Matthew Koehler & Punya Mishra, the term is short for Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge and serves as a practical framework for considering technology integration in classrooms.
Experienced and dedicated educators should already exercise a good amount of control over their own pedagogical and content knowledge, but technology (especially in top-down implementations) can quickly become an impediment to professional development. Mark Fijor of New School Technology insists that "teachers should not be expected to be experts of a particular technology tool, especially when first learning it," but also understands that when slick product demos make it to unsupported classrooms, it's the teachers who must deal with the unintended consequences. Luckily, Fijor unpacks, er... TPACK here with a special emphasis on technology essentials every teacher should grasp. He's also provided a list of Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) questions for administrators and educators to answer before any tech enters the building. If you're already experiencing acronym overload, we suggest giving AYP the boot!