Why is it essential to have the right tool for the job? Can you slice cheese with only a measuring spoon to work with? The following video shows how it can impact your task when you don’t use the right tool.

In the kitchen, I teach students to always use the best tool for the job. They practice using each tool so they will remember what to grab when they are mid-recipe and need to mix, slice, or whisk. It never fails though that sometimes they grab the wrong thing and try to use it anyway.  They re-purpose the tool to make it work, and this leads to problems. A set of tongs “can” be used to make a fruit salad but should they be?

The same concept holds true for educators when planning with technology.  Technology is a magnificent tool in the classroom, but it’s just that, a tool.  We should always start with the learning objective in mind and THEN consider the tools that would be best suited to helping the students achieve the goal. The tool might be a computer, but it also might be a whiteboard or even a pen.

This week for my CEP 810 class we were introduced to TPACK which is short for Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. It’s a framework that identifies what teachers need to know to integrate technology successfully (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler suggest that technology should not at the heart of our planning but should enhance the pedagogical content knowledge.

tpack-newRevised version of the TPACK image. © Punya Mishra, 2018. Reproduced with permission.

I’m looking forward to seeing the impact TPACK is going to have on my planning in the future. How about you?


Mishra, P., (2018). Revised version of TPACK image. Retrieved        from https://punyamishra.com/2018/09/10/the-tpack-diagram-gets-an-upgrade/

Mishra, P. & Koehler, M.J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record108(6), 1017-1054.

2 thoughts on “Is it the WHAT or the HOW that matters most?

  1. Wow! The tongs must have been a really difficult utensil to end up with, but I’m really impressed with what you were able to do with them. I’m sure your kids were able to eat up enough that it all fit in the bowl afterwards.

    Having students realize on their own what tools they need for each task is a really important concept for them to learn as well, in and out of the kitchen. I hope they can transfer the knowledge you’re sharing with them to other contexts to use tools effectively in their everyday lives. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


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