The TPACK of Dynamic Representations

The TPACK of Dynamic Representations

Lynn Bell (University of Virginia, USA), Nicole Juersivich (Nazareth College, USA), Thomas C. Hammond (Lehigh University, USA) and Randy L. Bell (University of Virginia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-750-0.ch005
OnDemand PDF Download:


Effective teachers across K-12 content areas often use visual representations to promote conceptual understanding, but these static representations remain insufficient for conveying adequate information to novice learners about motion and dynamic processes. The advent of dynamic representations has created new possibilities for more fully supporting visualization. This chapter discusses the findings from a broad range of studies over the past decade examining the use of dynamic representations in the classroom, focusing especially on the content areas of science, mathematics, and social studies, with the purpose of facilitating the development of teacher technological pedagogical content knowledge. The chapter describes the research regarding the affordances for learning with dynamic representations, as well as the constraints—characteristics of both the technology and learners that can become barriers to learning—followed by a summary of literature-based recommendations for effective teaching with dynamic representations and implications for teaching and teacher education across subject areas.
Chapter Preview

Dynamic Representations And Teacher Knowledge

The K-12 school curriculum presents a significant amount of content to students that they are expected to understand without being able to see firsthand, especially in the middle school and secondary levels. This content may require abstract thinking (e.g., place value, solving equations, and linear programming in mathematics), or it may require them to internalize concepts and processes that are invisible or too fast or too slow or too far away to be observed from the classroom (e.g., molecular structure, Newtonian physics, distant geographic landforms, etc.). Visualization, spatial thinking, and the ability to understand and translate representations in multiple forms are highly valued skills for success in school, especially if students are not just to memorize but understand what they are supposed to be learning (Jiang & McClintock, 2000; Linn, 2003; National Council of Teacher of Mathematics, 2000; Newcombe, 2010). Yet, students have long struggled with curriculum requiring these skills, and many fail to develop conceptual understanding of the content (e.g., see Leinhardt, Zaslavsky, & Stein, 1990; White & Mitchelmore, 1996).

Visual representations, such as illustrations, photographs, graphs, maps, analogies, physical manipulatives, and three-dimensional models, are often used by effective teachers to promote conceptual understanding, but these static representations remain insufficient for conveying adequate information to novice learners about motion and dynamic processes (Rohr & Reiman, 1998). The advent of personal digital technologies has created new possibilities for more fully supporting visualization, however. Pictures and graphs may be animated, displaying changes in space over time; interactive simulations can set into motion models based on real data; three-dimensional maps and models can be rotated and zoomed in or out; two- and three-dimensional geometric figures can be resized, rotated, and reshaped; and digital video, which is easier than ever to access and create, can capture actual events for repeated viewing and analysis. Multimedia environments can even combine multiple dynamic representations, linking them so that users can see the effects of changes made to one representation in all the others.

Some educators see all this capability for motion as intuitively beneficial, asserting that a dynamic representation of a dynamic phenomenon is more authentic and should be an obvious means for increasing student comprehension and conceptual understanding (e.g., McKagan et al., 2008; Ploetzner & Lowe, 2004). The literature includes numerous small-scale studies that support this conclusion (many of which will be cited in this chapter). In their meta-analysis of 26 studies, for example, Hoffler and Leutner (2007) found that representational animations produced significantly superior learning outcomes in students than did representational static pictures. The authors defined representational animations as explicitly presenting the topics to be learned and not there merely as motivational devices.

On the other hand, a number of researchers have presented students with animations and other dynamic representations and found their learning outcomes to be inferior to the learning of students viewing one or more static images of the same phenomenon (Lewalter, 2003; Lowe, 2003; Tversky, Morrison, & Betrancourt, 2002). As Ploetzner and Lowe (2004) concluded,

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes, Margaret L. Niess
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes, Margaret L. Niess
Chapter 1
Margaret L. Niess
Technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) is a dynamic lens that describes teacher knowledge required for designing, implementing, and... Sample PDF
Teacher Knowledge for Teaching with Technology: A TPACK Lens
Chapter 2
Matthew J. Koehler, Tae Seob Shin, Punya Mishra
In this chapter we reviewed a wide range of approaches to measure Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). We identified recent... Sample PDF
How Do We Measure TPACK? Let Me Count the Ways
Chapter 3
Thomas C. Hammond, R. Curby Alexander, Alec M. Bodzin
The TPACK framework provides researchers with a robust framework for conducting research on technology integration in authentic environments, i.e.... Sample PDF
Assessment in Authentic Environments: Designing Instruments and Reporting Results from Classroom-Based TPACK Research
Chapter 4
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes
In this study, we examine the validity of the Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK) through a systematic review and meta-analysis.... Sample PDF
A Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK): Complexity of Individual Aspects and Their Interactions
Chapter 5
Lynn Bell, Nicole Juersivich, Thomas C. Hammond, Randy L. Bell
Effective teachers across K-12 content areas often use visual representations to promote conceptual understanding, but these static representations... Sample PDF
The TPACK of Dynamic Representations
Chapter 6
Erica C. Boling, Jeanine Beatty
This chapter informs teacher educators and individuals involved in teacher professional development about the tensions that frequently arise when... Sample PDF
Overcoming the Tensions and Challenges of Technology Integration: How Can We Best Support our Teachers?
Chapter 7
John K. Lee, Meghan M. Manfra
To address the myriad effects that emerge from using technology in social studies, we introduce in this chapter the concept of vernaculars to... Sample PDF
TPACK Vernaculars in Social Studies Research
Chapter 8
Stephen J. Pape, Karen E. Irving, Clare V. Bell, Melissa L. Shirley, Douglas T. Owens, Sharilyn Owens, Jonathan D. Bostic, Soon Chun Lee
Classroom Connectivity Technology (CCT) can serve as a tool for creating contexts in which students engage in mathematical thinking leading to... Sample PDF
Principles of Effective Pedagogy within the Context of Connected Classroom Technology: Implications for Teacher Knowledge
Chapter 9
Christopher J. Johnston, Patricia S. Moyer-Packenham
Multiple existing frameworks address aspects of teachers’ knowledge for teaching mathematics with technology. This study proposes the integration of... Sample PDF
A Model for Examining the Criteria Used by Pre-Service Elementary Teachers in Their Evaluation of Technology for Mathematics Teaching
Chapter 10
Joseph M. Piro, Nancy Marksbury
With the continuing shift of instructional media to digital sources occurring in classrooms around the world, the role of technology instruction in... Sample PDF
Technologizing Teaching: Using the WebQuest to Enhance Pre-Service Education
Chapter 11
Travis K. Miller
This chapter details a theoretical framework for effective implementation and study of technology when used in mathematics education. Based on... Sample PDF
A Theoretical Framework for Implementing Technology for Mathematics Learning
Chapter 12
David A. Slykhuis, Rebecca McNall Krall
In this review of recent literature on the use of technology to teach science content, 143 articles from 8 science education journals were selected... Sample PDF
Successful Implementation of Technology to Teach Science: Research Implications
Chapter 13
Irina Lyublinskaya, Nelly Tournaki
A year-long PD program was provided to four NYC integrated algebra teachers. The PD comprised of teacher authoring of curriculum that incorporated... Sample PDF
The Effects of Teacher Content Authoring on TPACK and on Student Achievement in Algebra: Research on Instruction with the TI-Nspire™ Handheld
Chapter 14
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes
This chapter examines issues surrounding the design of research in educational technology and teacher knowledge. The National Research Council... Sample PDF
Making the Grade: Reporting Educational Technology and Teacher Knowledge Research
About the Contributors