Cutting strawberries with a whisk you ask … it actually works better than you might imagine!
On Friday,we were examining TPACK as the framework for understanding the integration “technological knowledge”, “pedagogical knowledge”, and “content knowledge” (Koehler & Mishra, 2008). In order to develop a deeper understanding of this concept, our quickfire challenge involved making breakfast – but there was a twist. The group was divided into 4, and two members from each group came up and selected the kitchen tool they would like to utilize. Then each group was assigned to a specific table to create a specific portion of the breakfast.
When I went to select a tool, I decided to choose the whisk because I noticed that one of the breakfast products involved whipping cream, so I assumed someone would be making whip cream. As I know it is difficult to make whip cream without a whisk I decided to grab that tool. The other member of my group selected a knife so at least had 2 different tools. Unfortunately, my group was assigned to making fruit salad and not whip cream! This involved cutting up apples, strawberries, and removing grapes! Now, I know what you are thinking! How are you going to make a whisk a useful tool for cutting apples or strawberries?
Obviously the whisk could not be used to cut the apples as they are to hard, so that left the strawberries. At first, I was using one wire of the whisk to cut a bottom section of the strawberry off, and cutting off one section at a time. This worked and was getting the job done – it was just very inefficient. After working with the tool for a little while it seemed that if I utilized the bottom of the whisk and put the strawberry so that the large end was face down to the cutting board, I could cut 4 section is one motion. This was a much better use of the tool than I was first utilizing.
Now, how does this relate to TPACK? The kitchen tools were representing the technological tools that are present in today’s classrooms. Some tools are appropriate for the task, and some tools are not! But some tools, at first may not seem appropriate but with some creativity can be re-purposed to achieve the desired outcome.
So the next time you go to cut strawberries and you don’t have a knife, don’t forget about your whisk!
Koehler, M.J., & Mishra, P. (2008). Introducing TPCK. In AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology (Eds.) Handbook of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK) for educators (pp. 3-30) New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. http://punya.educ.msu.edu/2008/05/28/tpack-handbook-chapter-1/
Koehler, M.J., & Mishra, P. (2009). Too Cool for School? No Way! Learning and Leading with Technology http://punya.educ.msu.edu/publications/mishra-koehler-l&l-2009.pdf