Something’s coming, something good: Identifying TPACK competence in pre-service teachers’ analyses of learning objects

Margaret Lloyd


There is a song at the beginning of the musical, West Side Story, where the character Tony sings that “something’s coming, something good.” The song is an anthem of optimism, brimming with promise. This paper is about the long-held promise of information and communication technology (ICT) to transform teaching and learning, to modernise the learning environment of the classroom, and to create a new digital pedagogy.  But much of our experience to date in the schooling sector tells more of resistance and reaction than revolution, of more of the same but with a computer in the corner and of ICT activities as unwelcome time-fillers/time-wasters. Recently, a group of pre-service teachers in a postgraduate primary education degree in an Australian university were introduced to learning objects in an ICT immersion program. Their analyses and related responses, as recorded in online journals, have here been interpreted in terms of TPACK (Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge). Against contemporary observation, these students generally displayed high levels of competence and highly positive dispositions of students to the integration of ICT in their future classrooms. In short, they displayed the same optimism and confidence as the fictional “Tony” in believing that something good was coming.


TPACK, learning objects, teacher education


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