Academic journal article Research in Learning Technology

A Portal of Educational Resources: Providing Evidence for Matching Pedagogy with Technology

Academic journal article Research in Learning Technology

A Portal of Educational Resources: Providing Evidence for Matching Pedagogy with Technology

Article excerpt


A portal of educational resources: providing evidence for matching pedagogy with technology

Nicoletta Di Blasa*, Alessandro Fioreb, Luca Mainettib, Roberto Vergallob and Paolo Paolinia

aDepartment of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy; bDepartment of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy

(Received 25 September 2013;final version received 19 February 2014;Published: 6 May 2014 )


The TPACK (Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge) model presents the three types of knowledge that are necessary to implement a successful technology-based educational activity. It highlights how the intersections between TPK (Technological Pedagogical Knowledge), PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge) and TCK (Technological Content Knowledge) are not a sheer sum up of their components but new types of knowledge. This paper focuses on TPK, the intersection between technology knowledge and pedagogy knowledge - a crucial field of investigation. Actually, technology in education is not just an add-on but is literally reshaping teaching/learning paradigms. Technology modifies pedagogy and pedagogy dictates requirements to technology. In order to pursue this research, an empirical approach was taken, building a repository (back-end) and a portal (front-end) of about 300 real-life educational experiences run at school. Educational portals are not new, but they generally emphasise content. Instead, in our portal, technology and pedagogy take centre stage. Experiences are classified according to more than 30 categories ('facets') and more than 200 facet values, all revolving around the pedagogical implementation and the technology used. The portal (an innovative piece of technology) supports sophisticated 'exploratory' sessions of use, targeted at researchers (investigating the TPK intersection), teachers (looking for inspiration in their daily jobs) and decision makers (making decisions about the introduction of technology into schools).

Keywords: educational portal; educational repository; open educational resources; educational technology; the TPACK model

*Corresponding author. Email:

Research in Learning Technology 2014. © 2014 N. Di Blas et al. Research in Learning Technology is the journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), a UK-based professional and scholarly society and membership organisation. ALT is registered charity number 1063519. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2014, 22 : 22906 -


In the past decade, a large number of repositories of educational resources have flourished on the Internet. Some (or most) of them are open, while others require a fee. Some of them are meant for teachers, others for students and families. They cover all school grades, from pre-school up to higher education, and all possible subjects. Examples are MERLOT , CAREO , Wins-Online , Orange Grove Repository (OER, 2013), Florida's digital repository, the (Khan Academy, 2014) and (BrainPOP , 2014).

A common feature of these repositories is what may be defined as a 'content-centric' approach. Emphasis is first and foremost on what the educational resource is about (e.g. 'volcanoes'), next on what subject it is related to (e.g. 'science') and finally on what school grade it could be applied to (e.g. '3rd grade'). …

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