Cooking with TPACK – Fruit Salad?

This week in CEP 810 we were asked to take part in a fun virtual TPACK quickfire activity. TPACK stands for Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge. Dr. Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler go on to explain that this is what we as teachers need to be aware of when teaching the students of today. Let’s take a deeper look at each part of TPACK. Technology Knowledge – Teachers have to have the knowledge and mastery of the technology they plan to use so that they can use it efficiently in their classrooms. In addition, they need to able to teach their students how to use this technology as a resource for their learning. Pedagogical Knowledge – Teachers knowledge and practice of teaching and learning that we can use in our classrooms such as classroom management, taxonomies, planning and assessments. Content Knowledge – Knowledge of subject content including theories, ideas, frameworks, and establishing practices including ways to develop such knowledge.

The ultimate goal for a 21st century teacher requires the proper implementation of all three aspects in the classroom. The more conscious you are of these three important areas of teaching the more likely you will be to succeed in using this framework successfully and efficiently.

In this week’s activity I asked my niece to come into the kitchen – she had to select from the kitchen drawers and cupboards three things: a plate, a bowl and a utensil. I did not tell her what kind or specifics for any of the tools. She chose a big red bowl, a small Toy Story plate and a spoon. Next I asked her to choose one of the slips from the hat. Each slip corresponded to various tasks I would have to do. Watch the video below to see what happened.

Big observation – making fruit salad with just a bowl, plate and spoon is a challenge. The spoon (although not typically used in this manner) served as an okay tool for cutting up the banana for the fruit bowl. Given that banana’s are softer and easy to slice, repurposing the spoon as a make shift knife was doable. However when it came to cutting the apple, the spoon was not as efficient as hoped for. I was able to somewhat slice slivers of the apple in order to kind of complete the task, but it wasn’t the greatest. In order to accomplish the task I had to repurpose plate to be more like a cutting board. The bowl was a good size and shape. If I could have another tool or the choice I would choose a knife because it can be used to cut both items for my fruit bowl. Obviously, they make a plethora of specific tools to make cutting fruit more efficient and if I really had the choice, this would be perfect for the banana, and this would be great for the apple. The plate and bowl were adequate tools overall, because they both served a purpose in my task and I didn’t change their purpose all too much.

So now my reflection – How does this TPACK activity relate to teaching? Teachers have a strong knowledge base and with this knowledge they are often challenged to apply what they know in various unique circumstances. This scenario was very similar. Obviously, there is never one perfect way to do something and sometimes we are given the challenge of integrating complex technology into our lessons. We are constantly developing new and innovative ways comprehending new technology and creating accommodations to meet the needs of any given tasks. I cannot wait to try this with my students to see their problem solving strategies and what they use to figure out complex situations that they are not used to.


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


3 thoughts on “Cooking with TPACK – Fruit Salad?

  1. techtalk204 says:


    I really like the way you broke down each part of TPACK for those who might not understand the innerworkings of our profession. All three components were described thoroughly so the reader is able to see how each piece fits together. You tie in nicely how you might use an activity like this with your own students to demonstrate problem solving skills. It is so true that in a 21st century classroom, technology has to be implemented properly in order for the students to be successful. I enjoyed watching your video too! You did a great job re-purposing items when necessary and explaining the whole process as you went about completing the task. Good thinking using the spoon to “cut” in a circular fashion to get your fruit salad pieces.

    Great job on this challenge!



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