EcoScience Works: Teacher Professional Development Through a Collaborative Curriculum Project – an Example of TPACK in Maine
Maine’s one-to-one laptop program provides an ideal opportunity to explore conditions that optimize teacher integration of technology-focused curriculum into the classroom. EcoScienceWorks (ESW) is an ecology curriculum that includes targeted simulations and a code block programming challenge developed through an NSF-ITEST grant. The project was designed as a collaboration that included simulation software developers; middle school science teachers; the Maine laptop program; environmental educators; an external evaluator; and a lead organization experienced in teacher guided curriculum development. Thus, each of the elements of TPACK (technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge) worked together to produce the final ecology simulation-centered curriculum. In 2008-2009, the ESW curriculum became available statewide through the Maine laptop program. Partner teachers have transitioned their classrooms to more learning-centered environments through the use of technology and have become teacher leaders. The collaborative approach to technology focused curriculum development used in this project is a model for TPACK professional development.