Know Who Your Audience Is

One of my old classmates from school was telling me about her world of marketing.  She had such great stories about all the wonderful places she traveled, the people she met, and the great time she was having in life.  In exchange she got 15 minutes of my life as a mother of  a brand new 2-year-old and  new kindergartener, life back in Indiana, and some of the funniest times I had as an educator.  With great intrigue I asked her how she managed to keep all these different clients happy. She told me her secret was what she learned in marketing 101…..know the audience.  I sat there for a moment as she was speaking and began to think about how this was much like my experience in teaching.  I have to always be aware of my audience from the beginning of the planning to through analysis of summative assessment data.   In the article,Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A framework for Teacher Knowledge, by Punya Mishra and Matthen J. Koehler, I especially enjoyed reading about how the “redesign”  project that the graduate students completed “forced participants to think deeply about evaluating the needs of the audience and to configure their design to meet these needs. ”

I believe that the most important part of the TPCK Design Model is highlighted in this particular example.  The purpose of the model is to assure that a one-size-fits-all program is not developed to try to teach children to create new knowledge using technology. Teachers had to recreate a website based on the child that was being taught. 

 Student-centered instruction is a very important aspect of teaching in any discipline.  I think that it is even more challenging when adding a third piece: the technology tool.

The article states that technological content knowledge is as easy as asking yourself how the subject matter can be changed by the application of technology. Mathematics is profoundly changed with something  just as simple as how information is gathered, graphed, or represented.  Many of the “abstract” mathematical concepts can come to life on screen.  The key would then be adding the pedagogy which consists of knowing how to teach the content through the use of technology effectively. 

There is one question that I have for the authors of this particular article. The statement was made that when combining all three aspects of tech. education, that teachers have to apply pedagogical strategies for the use of technologies.  Are all these strategies transferable?   Are there strategies in a particular discipline that work better than others?  I guess this would take time like any new aspect of teaching.

TPCK seems like a great way to begin the process of simply using technology to teach to teaching children how to develop and create new technology with its use.  As a novice tech teacher, I am sure I will find this helpful.

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One thought on “Know Who Your Audience Is

  1. I feel that technology and all its changes are sometimes so overwhelming that teachers will “shut down” just like the kids and not be effective in the classroom. Knowing your audience can help avoid this but it seems that things change so quickly that it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep up. Therefore that TPCK model we read about is important to make us not only think but also do – even if it is in “baby steps.” If a teacher will try one thing and check if it is helping or hindering the education process of their students, then that teacher can move forward with that or try something else.
    I really want to try new things in technology with my children – just hope that the school’s tech budge will permit it. [Can’t access some of the new Web 2.0 items that we are learning about at school 😦 – but that doesn’t mean that I have quit trying! ]

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