Introduction to TPACK in the South African Context

The realm of education is continuously evolving, influenced mainly by technological advancements. Among the educational theories and models that guide teachers in this digital era, TPACK, or Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, stands as a pragmatic framework for integrating technology into education.

Understanding TPACK

TPACK is a model that intersects three primary forms of knowledge: Technological, Pedagogical, and Content. Its focus is not solely on the technology but on the interaction between these three knowledge types. The essence of TPACK is the balance it offers between understanding what we teach (content), how we teach (pedagogy), and the tools we use in teaching (technology).

For teachers in South Africa, where classrooms are diverse, and the educational landscape is dynamic, TPACK offers a valuable guide. This model is instrumental in understanding how to use technology as a supplementary tool and an integral part of teaching and learning strategies.

The Implication of TPACK

Let’s consider a scenario to illustrate the impact of TPACK. A history teacher is challenged to make past events relevant and engaging for her students. With TPACK, she uses her content knowledge about a particular historical event, pedagogical knowledge on best delivering it, and technological expertise to choose a suitable tool – like a digital timeline. The result is an engaging lesson where students actively participate, grasping the interconnections of events over time.

TPACK, when understood and implemented effectively, can lead to a more engaged classroom, enhanced learning outcomes, and, ultimately, equip students with skills relevant to the digital age.

For South African educators navigating the complex terrain of technology integration in classrooms, TPACK can serve as a compass, providing direction and balance in utilizing digital tools to enhance teaching and learning experiences.

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The Essential Digital Skills Workshop for South African Teachers

Technology such as AI, IoT, and cloud computing is transforming workplaces, and the education sector is no exception. South African teachers are invited to attend a cutting-edge two-day workshop to enhance their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills. This SACE-endorsed workshop will equip teachers with essential digital skills and earn them Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. As an added bonus, all participants get a copy of the ICT Skills Every Teacher Should Have book.

Why Should Teachers Attend?

Stay Relevant in a Digital World

As educators, staying abreast of the latest technology is imperative. The workshop will address the rapid digital transformation and explain how it affects the education sector.

Enhance Teaching Methods

With improved digital skills, teachers can create more engaging and effective lesson plans using various tools and resources, improving student outcomes.

Personal and Professional Development

This workshop aids in both personal and professional development. Teachers will be equipped with the skills necessary to be more efficient in their work, manage classes better, and contribute positively to their school’s technological growth.

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Navigating the Crossroads of Language and Education: USAID/EDC Reading in African Languages Project

Access to education in one’s native language significantly impacts learning outcomes. As part of the broader USAID Let’s Read Project, the EDC and Cambridge collaboration aimed to bolster early-grade reading by supplying local Zambian-language books. As the Product Owner at Cambridge University Press and Assessment, I undertook a detailed journey through language adaptation, rigorous quality assurance, and professional stakeholder management, ultimately delivering over 1.5 million books in seven Zambian languages.


In Zambia, the Ministry of General Education started the Primary Literacy Programme (PLP) in 2013. However, it faced hurdles such as inadequate teacher training, insufficient student resources, and limited community involvement. The USAID Let’s Read Project was initiated to improve reading outcomes for early-grade students and support the education system with a whole school-whole system approach, emphasising the integrity of the PLP. Cambridge came on board to develop and supply primary readers in seven Zambian languages.

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management was at the core of the project. The collaboration with USAID/EDC was essential for the project’s success. I worked to build and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders, ensuring alignment of goals, transparent communication, and collaborative problem-solving.

One of the primary responsibilities was to engage in open dialogues with USAID/EDC to understand their objectives, align on project timelines, and ensure adherence to quality standards. Regular updates and discussions facilitated trust and mutual understanding.

Complex Project Management

This project was complex due to its international nature, tight schedule, and linguistic elements. As the owner, I was responsible for navigating through this complexity. By meticulously planning, setting clear milestones, and monitoring progress, I ensured that the project stayed on track.

A significant challenge was coordinating between teams in Zambia and South Africa. I conducted multiple trips to Zambia for on-site engagement with the language specialists to address this. This allowed for real-time problem-solving and assured quality in content adaptation.

Forging connections with language specialists in Zambia was critical. Through on-site visits and ongoing communication, I built rapport, which paved the way for seamless collaboration. A shared goal united us – elevating education for Zambian children. This communal vision enabled cooperative teamwork. This was further bolstered by valuing and recognising the language specialists’ expertise.

A resilient risk management strategy was indispensable for tackling potential setbacks and ensuring compliance with the tight delivery schedule. I maintained continuous communication with both teams to enable swift responses to any emerging challenges.

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