My interpretation of TPACK is that it is the obvious next (current) step in good teaching simply because of the changing job market and available technologies. When I was first applying for teaching jobs, I remember being reminded to use buzz words, specifically differentiation. This skill is still necessary as every student continues to learn differently, but now understanding how technology can be used to adapt concepts with which students struggle is also an important skill for good teachers to have (Kholer & Mishra, 2009). There are so many amazing resources available for education that the only real way to be an effective teacher is to utilize them to help and engage students.
Also, our students are entering a real world surrounded by technology and need to be exposed to it. Because of this and the options it offers, it is essential that technology is combined with pedagogical and content knowledge in the classroom. Many schools, like my own, do not simply have courses devoted to technology use. If they do not receive this exposure from regular education courses, they may never get it. Whether they need it to transition into undergraduate classes on Blackboard or for their first PR position at a company, responsible technology use is a necessary skill in all of their futures.
I believe our organization’s main goal is to develop students who are passionate about learning. In the high school especially, it is common to see boredom. They have experienced education for 9-12 years already and the topics and methodologies can become redundant. Every aspect of TPACK is necessary to battle this and reach the goal. Content knowledge is the first step because without understanding the material, it cannot possibly be taught effectively. Pedagogical knowledge is also foundational because without proper understanding of how to reach students, the content knowledge cannot be transferred. Finally, technology knowledge is a new component needed. TPACK adds interest because technology is so incredibly magnetic for society today as a whole (Pull: How Technology is Changing the Conversation, 2014). If our teachers truly understand the content, are experienced with how students learn, and can use technology along with enthusiasm to engage students in potentially dull content, we are that much closer to developing students who truly love learning.
Koehler, M.J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1). Retrieved from http://www.citejournal.org/vol9/iss1/general/article1.cfm