Cooking with TPACK

For this week’s assignment, I had my husband choose three things from the kitchen (a plate, bowl and utensil of some sort), without knowing what they would be used for, and randomly choose a task using only these things. He chose a dinner plate, a medium-sized glass bowl and tongs and put me to the test of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In the video below, you can watch me take on the challenge!

The purpose of this assignment is to show how technologies can be repurposed to create an educational environment that is meaningful and connected with skilled teaching and technology. Dr. Matthew Koehler and Dr. Punya Mishra (2006) describe this type of learning as Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK).

Technology is not just electronics; it is anything that is created to help a task get done easier. For example, the tongs that I used in this activity are a technology that made grabbing food a lot less difficult. However, I repurposed them to be used to spread the peanut butter and jelly on to the bread. Repurposing technologies can actually lead to new learning; after completely the task, I actually was thinking of how great it would be to have a tool used specifically for PB&Js where you didn’t have to use two knives or wash the knife in between use.

With the TPACK framework, technology, pedagogy and content knowledge cannot be their own entities; they must be integrated to form one cohesive learning environment (Koehler & Mishra, 2006). To educate in the 21st century, educators not only need to know the subject matter, but also be mindful of how to teach it and what technologies might be useful to aide in the learning process. For example, if I teach a student step-by-step how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, they will know exactly that–which they could’ve looked up on Google in a matter of seconds anyway. Rather, by understanding students’ background knowledge, misconceptions, technologies that may aid in the process, etc., and letting students explore how to make this sandwich, will teach them how to critically think in numerous different tasks.

Already knowing how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, without this assignment, I would’ve naturally grabbed a knife as my utensil, but using the tongs helped me look through the eyes of my students and learn, explore, create and share!


Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. Retrieved from download .pdf

One thought on “Cooking with TPACK

  1. DP says:

    I really like the thoughtfulness you put into your Making a PB&J video. Your “thinking out loud” made it very transparant how and what you were processing while completing the task. I thought your statement “Repurposing technologies can actually lead to new learning” was insightful. Your idea to create a special PB&J knife was rather clever. You demonstrated your thought process of repurposing the tongs and then created or envisioned a better PB&J knife. Isn’t that the essence of TPACK?

    Well Done!

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