Sunday, February 28

[ANALYST] TASK 1 - EXPLORING TPACK

Hi everyone and, of course…, welcome to our blog!

First of all, let me introduce myself, my name is Pepi Vélez, and this week, in our first task, I am playing the role of “Analyst”. And you will ask…, what is it this? Really easy!, So please do not panic!! My job this week, is to analyse the work of my group making a deep reflection.

Well, now I´ll start…

Reflection TPACK Task
This week has been like a race to the unknown. We were not sure about what we had to do, our roles, if we were following the instructions in the right way, but we started working since the instructions of the task were uploaded.

The task was about TPACK. We had to explain what TPACK is, its features, its elements and how it is related to our degree and how it would be useful to us as future teachers. The worst part arose when we had to organize the work, there were only two days left before the deadline and because of that we had to be productive… or at least, we tried to. From my point of view, our piece of work was not perfect, but it was acceptable once we reached the deadline. Next time, we could improve our weaknesses in this matter, as well as foster our strengths, now that we know how we are expected to perform the tasks. Of course, each week must be better because of the experience and the knowledge acquired.

The worst moments were when we had to make decisions, have agreements, and when we had to get all together to discuss the work done or possible changes. It is really complicated to agree with other seven people, with different points of view, likes and so on, and also respect their opinions when you probably would do it differently. Nevertheless, we have to start getting used to it, because it is an essential part of our work as future teachers. It is really important to be able to work in groups, and there must be a commitment to their colleagues, it is one of the six main traits that according to Zabalza (2012), good teachers have. To give an example: to do the school work, all the teachers have to make decisions and agreements in the best possible way for the welfare and interests of their pupils.

On the other hand, we also had good moments. In my opinion, the best moment of this task was when we finished the presentation and our Star told us that the teacher said it was correctly performed, it was such a big relief... We were all in tension and worried, we did not how to face that at the beginning and after having the confirmation it was great! It is often said that we are scared of the unknown, only because of it being unknown to us. Once we discover how it really is, we get used to it and automatize all the processes needed to fulfil the task, making it part of our daily routine until we have another unknown challenge. This is what I call life, a wide of challenges that must be overcome in order to develop as a person. Having said that, I am sure that the next times we will be more relaxed because we would have automatized this process.

In terms of describing the best part of the activity, I would probably say it has been to discover how motivated and interested we were, and the commitment of doing the task that we all had since the beginning. All of us were interested in carrying the work out properly, asking for advice or helping each other when it was needed. Having seen that, I presume that we are going to be good teachers, but with a great difference as, in the future, our goals and motivation will be helping our pupils.

With that said, I would conserve our motivation, interest and so on for the next weeks and I hope with could improve week by week all the problems that we have had with different opinions, agreements and decisions. The problem is not a lack of work, as we all have lots of ideas of doing things and it is complicated to mix everything. We must learn from our mistakes once we have discovered them, “Sólo se reconoce el error cuando todo el mundo lo comparte” (Giraudoux).

In relation to the contents, I would say that these contents are related to other contents of the course and also to our degree. Indeed, I could say that those set the base to be a teacher. To start with the contents of the course, during the first half, we saw in Planning the official curriculum, and it established the inclusion of TIC in schools, so TPACK is an approach to do it. Moreover, after reading the official curriculum, we were asked to read other approaches such as Gimeno’s (2010). This was the most surprising for me, because he critiques the curriculum in general saying for example“ese curriculum real es una posibilidad entre otras alternativas” (Gimeno, 2010). He refers to all the aspects of the curriculum, as for example, the contents. The contents change from the curriculum up to the students, because of the teachers’ interpretations and after that, their way to teach students this specific knowledge. This is PCK, according to Shulman´s definition, PCK is the notion of the transformation of the subject matter for teacher (Koehler and Mishra, 2009). Those are the most remarkable examples for me to link these contents to others of the course, but of course, there are much more. In the subject already mentioned, Planning, we saw all these concepts, we could understand how teachers should be, in terms of knowledge, emotional traits, commitments and so on. Because of that, in order to stick to TPACK and be a good teacher, it is necessary to be aware of these needs and commitments.

From my point of view, all of these contents are related to our degree. We must know all the tools, resources, devices and know how they work. This content is preparing us to face the reality and is also giving us ideas to develop in our classroom. I presume that this subject, School Organization has the aim to teach us concepts that we would need, and some of them could be the base of our profession but, in a dynamic and practical way. Moreover, in the case of doing this reflection, we are learning how to be critical to ourselves seeing our mistakes and the way to overcome them, and how all the contents can be connected to the others. Teachers have to be critical, because it is a way to create knowledge, for them and for their students. All that is written, said, or established does not have to be right and therefore, the only solution. There are lots more possibilities and, because of that, teachers and all the people in general must be critical in their field.

Finally, this is highly connected to society because we have to learn how to teach using TIC, according to the content of the official curriculum and that it has been done by the Government. Why is it this? Because technology is part of our lives and it is a necessity to learn about that. Nowadays it is all related to technology, children start using tablets, iPads, social network, smartphones and so on since they are one or two years old. Technology is a reality, it does not stop developing, which means we have to take advantage of all the help they can give us, in order to help us teach better and develop more skills from the children to prepare them for the future.

To sum things up, making an overview, we must improve our group organization but keeping our motivation. We have learnt what TPACK is, and its relations with this subject, others and the degree.

I hope you have enjoyed reading it as well as learning with us. I tried to do my best and put my heart in every single word I wrote. Next one will be better!

See you soon bloggers!
Pepi

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