Needing TPACK without Knowing It:
Integrating Educational Technology in Social Studies
Erik Jon Byker
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Preparing future elementary teachers to connect social studies content and skills with technology necessitates the integration of technology into teacher preparation methods courses. Such integration hinges on the identification of pre-service teachers’ level of Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK). These three knowledge areas help shape smart uses for educational technology beyond entertainment that utilize technology in educationally profitable ways. The TPACK model is useful for identifying the knowledge required by pre-service teachers for the purpose of wedding instructional technology to social studies content and instruction. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to describe and to analyze the integration of an instructional technology lesson in an elementary social studies methods course in a large Midwestern university. The study, specifically, describes and reports on 25 pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the utilization of a social studies software technology called Timeliner. The study reports on the level of TPACK awareness of the study’s pre-service teachers and offers implications related to instructional technology integration in elementary social studies methods courses.
Keywords: educational technology, elementary schooling, social studies methods, teacher preparation, technology integration, TPACK