The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Koehler, Mishra & Cain, 2013) is another way of thinking about integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. It builds on earlier work by Lee Shulman (http://www.leeshulman.net/domains/), but adds technology as an additional essential component of teacher knowledge. Koehler, Mishra, and Cain (2013) define the layers of teacher knowledge as follows:

  • Content knowledge—knowledge of the subject matter
  • Pedagogical knowledge—general knowledge of how students learn and how teachers can facilitate learning
  • Pedagogical content knowledge—knowledge of discipline-specific teaching and learning (e.g., common student misconceptions in the domain and how to overcome them)
  • Technology knowledge—knowledge beyond mere computer literacy, encompassing “a deeper, more essential understanding and mastery of information technology for information processing, communication, and problem solving” (p. 15)
  • Technological content knowledge—“a deep understanding of the manner in which the subject matter…can be changed by the application of particular technologies” and “which specific technologies are best suited for addressing subject-matter learning” (p. 16)
  • Technological pedagogical knowledge—“an understanding of how teaching and learning can change when particular technologies are used in particular ways” (p. 16)

Finally, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) is

the basis of effective teaching with technology, requiring an understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies, pedagogical techniques that use technologies in constructive ways to teach content, knowledge of what makes concepts difficult or easy to learn and how technology can help redress some of the problems that students face, knowledge of students’ prior knowledge and theories of epistemology, and knowledge of how technologies can be used to build on existing knowledge to develop new epistemologies or strengthen old ones (p. 16).

For more information on how all of these ideas fit together, see Royce Kimmons’ helpful video, “TPACK in Three Minutes” here:

https://youtu.be/0wGpSaTzW58 (3:11 minutes).


To dig a little bit deeper, you can view this video featuring one of the TPACK founders, Dr. Punya Mishra:

https://youtu.be/wn4ElDeZQeM (13:26 minutes).

Note: You will notice that the original article used the acronym “TPCK” and later articles use “TPACK.” As the framework evolved the “and” was added to the name simply to make the acronym easier to read and pronounce.


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Foundations of Educational Technology Copyright © 2017 by Penny Thompson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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