This special issue include all the TPACK-related papers/sessions that will be presented at the SITE conference in March in Las Vegas; at the AERA annual meeting in April in Toronto; and at the ISTE conference in June in Philadelphia—a total of 35 TPACK-focused conference sessions in just 3 months! Judi and her team have taken the trouble of just including those presentations that “use TPCK/TPACK extensively as either a theoretical framework and/or a focus for investigation throughout the cited conference papers/presentations.”
A teacher affects eternity—Henry Adams
I remember the first time I saw David Zola teach. He was on stage in front of 200+ undergraduate students with a plastic cup of wine in his hand. The wine had been poured to him by a teaching assistant from a bottle hidden in a brown paper bag and David’s task was to figure out the provenance of the contents of the bottle. He sniffed and swilled and sipped, all the while talking us through the process and more importantly how he had acquired this skill. In short he talked to us about learning, and that learning was more than what happened in schools and classrooms, and through that subtly hinting at all that was lost when we speak of learning in just schools and classrooms. I remember being impressed by how well he did (I think he got the year but not the exact vineyard) but, most importantly, what has stayed with me was his willingness to taking this risk to make a broader point about learning and education.
And, of course, how can anyone forget the time when he came dressed to class as Jean Piaget, with a fake beard and pipe, talking to the students about “his” discoveries about the stages of cognitive development.
David Zola cared about teaching. That much was clear. He also cared about each and every person he interacted with—whether a colleague or student. He always had a twinkle in his eye and an infectious smile.
But as a teaching assistant, what I remember most was the manner in which he trusted all of us. We were given incredible freedom to teach our sections the way we saw fit, to craft the curriculum in ways that made sense to us. This was scary to me—first time teaching a section all by myself in the US, in front of 25+ undergraduate students. But it wasn’t like he just let us be to lead these discussion sections all by ourselves. There was a whole support network of senior TA’s and regularly scheduled meetings of the whole team to just see how things were going, to address questions we may have, and problems we may be facing. I remember discussions about individual students and figuring out, collectively, the best way to respond to any issues they may be facing.
And then there was the process of constructing the mid-term and final examination questions. Not for him the easy way out—of falling back on questions crafted in the years past. That was not his style. The questions were anew every semester, crafted by the current teaching assistants, shared with the team, and then collaboratively edited till they were the best questions they could be.
I didn’t realize it then but I realize it now, he was teaching not just 200+ undergraduate students but us, the teaching assistants, as well. To become better teachers and educators. To take this profoundly important responsibility we had been given seriously.
David has been an incredible influence on me—as a teacher and educator. He showed me that even in an environment that often does not value teaching, an culture that focuses on publications and grants, it was possible to be a good teacher. To care for every student, even in large supposedly impersonal lecture classes. He showed me just how precious these moments are that we have with our students. He demonstrated, through his actions, that there is nothing, nothing, that is off bounds to get our students to connect with the ideas and concepts they need to learn. He taught me to be a good teacher and a good teacher-leader. And that however talented we are, however hard we try, we are better collectively than we can ever be individually. These are lessons that I have internalized and are a core part of my identity as a teacher and educator. And for that I will be eternally grateful.
David passed away a over six months ago, something I learned just a few days back.
He will be missed. But his legacy lives on—in me and in each of the students whose lives he touched, in his inimitable way.
A design created in celebration of ? -day, 2019. (More context about the day here and more about the number itself here). As always, the OofSI team celebrates Pi(e) day by offering a selection of ? s – exactly at 1:59 PM. Totally irrational I know!
Apart from being irrational, ? is also a transcendental number, which means it is not the root of any polynomial having rational coefficients. This implies, mathematicians argue, that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of squaring the circle. I beg to differ, as I so (tongue-in-cheek-ingly) proved in this blog post from last year.
The Consortium of School Networking (COSN) is one of the leading associations for school system technology leaders. COSN recently released the first of three publications in their series on Driving K-12 Innovation: Hurdles 2019. The goal of this series is to “provide insights into pressing educational challenges and thoughtful, intentional use of technology to address them.” Additionally this series provides “resources and insight into strategic planning and smart technology integration into teaching and learning.” (On a side note: I had presented a keynote at the COSN conference back in 2013.)
As the title suggests the focus of the first report is on the hurdles faced by school leaders as they seek to transform teaching and learning mediated by technology. The image below shows the top 5 hurdles identified in the report.
One of the key hurdles they identify is The Gap between Technology & Pedagogy. As the report says, “this hurdle captures with a new sense of urgency a perennial challenge: tensions that arise when the impulse to adopt new technologies takes precedence over preparedness to use them effectively.”
One of the key approaches to addressing this hurdle is “making technology an explicit component of the learning equation is an emerging concept.” I was pleased to see that one of the key frameworks cited in the report is the TPACK framework (see screenshot from the report below).
There is a lot more in the report that may be of interest. You can access the complete report here. Incidentally I was told that this is COSN’s most downloaded publication to date!
Note: Finally, this may not mean much to most people but I feel obligated to point out that this is the first official citation of the recently upgraded TPACK framework that was first reported on this website. (The TPACK diagram gets an upgrade).
This issue includes 31 articles, 2 books, 39 chapters, and 14 dissertations that have not appeared in past issues bringing the grand total of TPACK related publications that have appeared in the newsletter to 1621 (which breaks up as follows: 995 articles; 282 chapters; 28 books; and 316 dissertations). This numbers are higher if we consider all the publications related to TPACK to date (as follows: Total 1644, consisting of 1013 articles; 282 chapters; 29 books and 320 dissertations). (Thanks to Judi for these numbers.)
Jill Castek, at the University of Arizona, invited me to participate in an NSF funded workshop on developing “Principles for the equitable design of STEM learning environments.” The event was being held at Bioshpere 2, which is this awesome place near Tucson. Because, regretfully, I could not go for the meeting she asked to create a short video (a provocation is how she described it to me) to be played at the beginning of the 3-day event.
Below is the video I created: Technology and Education: A provocation. In it I speak to how we, as scholars in educational technology, missed the boat on some of the most significant trends and concerns in our lifetime; and also try to offer some thoughts on what we can do better. I also took this opportunity to shamelessly plug the work we are doing within the Office of Scholarship and Innovation (OofSI) at ASU‘s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. I must add that even though I could not make it to Biosphere 2, our office was well represented (by Sean Leahy and Ben Scragg).
A special thanks to Jill for the opportunity and Claire Gilbert for both acting as a sounding board and helping with the audio.
I was recently invited to present a Keynote at the Mobile Technology in Teacher Education (MITE) 2019 Conference hosted by The University of Technology, Sydney. This was the fifth edition of the conference, and as it turns out, I had given a keynote at the first MITE conference in Galway, Ireland, back in 2015.
While preparing for the latest keynote I realized that a lot had changed in the past five years: both in the world and in the field of educational technology and educational research. And these changes were not necessarily for the better. So I took this opportunity to reflect on some of challenges we face today and how we as a field can respond to them. In this context I also spoke to some of the work we are currently involved in within the Office of Scholarship and Innovation at ASU‘s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. A video of the presentation (audio synched to the slides) is provided below.
A sincere thanks to Bui Thi Thanh Huong for the recording without which this video could not have existed. A special thanks to Claire Gilbert for adding some musical transitions and for providing the fake applause at the beginning of the video. That made all the difference.
I have always been intrigued by the nature and role of the aesthetic experience in learning. A few members of the Deep-Play research group have been exploring this issue for a while (for instance we have written on, why science teachers should care about beauty in their teaching, the aesthetics of coding; its role in science education; and its presence in popular science media).
Developing a Rhetoric of Aesthetics: The (Often) Forgotten Link Between Art and STEM (complete reference below) is an article that digs into these ideas in depth. In essence, this article is an extended argument that builds on several lines of work including philosophy, psychology, history and biography, in order to promote a model of learning based on aesthetic ways of knowing, thinking, and exploring the world. This emphasizes key impulses that make us human. We provide a generative three-fold fractal framework that seeks to capture the entire cycle of engaging in STEM practices: from curiosity to the process of seeking answers, to a sense of completion that in turn leads to new curiosities to explore. We suggest that this leads to a powerful virtuous cycle that seeks to maintain the same sequence at different levels of learning—from the beginner to the professional scientist, mathematician, or engineer.
You should read the article in its entirety but I provide below some key ideas from the chapter – for a quick skim. We begin the article as follows:
A child’s first experience, of peeking through a telescope to see the vivid sharply etched, yet fragile, rings of Saturn is a powerful one; perhaps as powerful as standing amidst redwood trees listening to the sound of wind rustling through the leaves or experiencing a moment of clarity when an elegant geometrical proof, surprising in its simplicity, emerges from a chaos of sketches and doodles. It is in this sense of awe and wonder that our minds nibble at confronting powerful ideas such as infinity (whether the infinity of numbers, or the interminably large scale of the cosmos, or the immeasurably small universe of cells and atoms and quarks). The emotional turbulence that overwhelms us when we reflect on nature, truly understand a scientific idea, or solve a tricky mathematical or engineering problem often leads to powerful aesthetic experiences. These experiences, we argue, are no different or less than the aesthetic experience we have in engaging with powerful artistic human creations, be it music or the visual arts.
That said, the role of the aesthetic has often been ignored in the discussion on learning in the STEM disciplines. This despite the fact that:
The aesthetic exists in the pleasure of understanding and figuring things out. It lives in the thrill of the chase and discovery. It appeals in the sense of awe we feel when we confront at the beauty of nature and the immensities of the universe. It endures in the elegance of a proof or in a subtle line of code.
In this paper we argue that:
… at its core, the sensation of wonderment, the sublime feeling of awe, the natural sense of curiosity, and the intrinsic joy of discovery—the affective and emotional components of the experience of doing science—are the key to learning in the STEM disciplines. As educators, we often ignore them at the risk of alienating the very students we want to reach. We argue that doing science is an inherently emotional, and thereby humanistic, aspect of our lives. It is fueled by curiosity, steered by wonder, soothed by beauty, and replenished by the joy of discovery. This is why we love to solve problems, explore new lands and seas, and build enormous bridges and miniscule nanobots. It is who we are as humans—curious, complex, and forward looking. This is the aesthetic and affect-based reason for doing science.
One of the key achievements of our work, I think, is the manner in which we have brought a range of ideas and literatures together to develop a three-part generative framework that allows us to better understand the role that the aesthetic plays in learning STEM. The three key frames, with sub-categories within, are described in the table below:
This can be represented as a diagram as follows:
… or better still as an animated graphic that shows the manner in which the three steps build on each other and then lead on to further Wonderments, Journeys and Fulfillments.
I am thrilled at the publication of this article the culmination of years of work by the entire team. A link to the complete article and reference is given below:
Mehta, R., Keenan, S., Henriksen, D. & Mishra, P. (2019). Developing a Rhetoric of Aesthetics: The (Often) Forgotten Link Between Art and STEM. in M. S. Khine, & S. Areepattamannil (Eds.). Steam Education: Theory & Practice. Springer.
Dr. Paula Thomson and Dr. Vicki Jaque are professors at California State University, Northridge, where they co-direct the exercise and psychophysiology laboratory. They each have their own individual research interests but together they work on researching connections across the mind, the body, and creative experience. It helps that Paula has a background in dance and choreography (having worked with several Canadian opera, dance and theater companies) and Vicki has a background in dance and figure skating. This allows them to approach creativity research from a somewhat unique trans-disciplinary perspective.
They have primarily studied what they call “interpreters” of creativity—such as dancers, musicians, and athletes that perform work that has been initiated by other “generators.” They argue that creativity is not solely located within the origin or originator of an idea or composition, but also in the interpretation of it. As Thompson suggest, a fundamental aspect of their research is in better understanding this act of interpretation. As she says
You may be interpreting somebody’s concept, but it won’t come alive unless the performer endows it with their creative capacities. And the whole process of putting on a production, all of the problem solving, all of the adaptations, they’re all inherently creative processes.
Along the same vein, in one of their articles, they argue that:
[Interpreters] took what had been brought into being by generators, and fit it to a new use, adjusting and modifying it along the way, and in so doing, connected ideas and concepts that may not necessarily have originally been conceived to fit together.
We spoke with both of them recently for our ongoing series for Tech Trends. Our conversation with the two of them spanned a wide range of topics, from individual creativity and flow, to research methods and the importance of school art programs. Some of these topics have been discussed previously in our series but, unique to this interview were a series of distinctive ideas related to the physical embodiment of creativity, pathologies related to creative cultures, and the healing capacities of creativity. You can learn more about their work by reading the article liked to below.
Warr, M., Henriksen, D., Mishra, P. & the Deep-Play Research Group. (2019). Creativity and Expressive Arts, Performance, Physicality and Wellness: A Conversation with Dr. Paula Thomson and Dr. Victoria Jaque. Tech Trends. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-019-00372-8
Header image: Photographs and design ©punyamishra. Photographs: Found graffiti, Mill Avenue, and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Tempe AZ.
I was in Sydney recently to present a keynote at the MITE conference. I spoke there about some issues that have been concerning me for a while—what I like to call the “dark arts” of digital technologies. After the conference I had a wide-ranging interview with Jordan Baker of the Sydney Morning Herald. An article based on the interview was just published. Though we covered a lot of ground in the interview only some of what we discussed ended up in the article—which is par for the course. For the record here is a link to the article: STEM focus leaves kids vulnerable to ‘dark arts’ of fake news: expert
How might we?
Three words, and a question mark. At one level it is a simple question—leaving open what it is that we might do. But at another level its openness is its strength. Because inherent within it is a call to action, a discomfort with the way things are, and an openness to change. And as Lisa Wyatt recently communicated to me, “the question inherently recognizes that there are many ways to answer the question, not just one.”
This past semester 14 student-teachers asked powerful “How might we?” questions about their own practice and came up with solutions that were unique, creative and impactful. In ways big and small.
It all began, as one can imagine, with a “How might we?” question of our own.
How might we improve the student-teacher experience?
How might we empower student-teachers to develop a designers mindset? A mindset that allows them to see themselves as designers of curriculum rather than mere users of curriculum?
Our answer to this question was recently featured in a recent news story on the MLFTC News titled: Student teachers learn to be creative problem-solvers. (Note: Other related links are given below.)
The students’ how might we questions emerged from their own experience and in each case they worked in teams to design and more importantly test possible solutions in their classrooms. The story linked above has more information but here is a key quote, from Melanie Bertrand, faculty fellow with OofSI, speaking to what she observed:
“I could see that the experience was very empowering for the students. I think these experiences teach future or new teachers that knowledge about how to improve teaching doesn’t lie just with the mentor teacher or with some researchers who are considered experts, but rather with them as well.
This project would not have been possible without support and feedback from a wide range of people. The include the leadership of the Teacher Preparation program, Michelle Amrein, site coordinator at the school, and a team of mentor teachers. Finally thanks to Lisa Wyatt and the rest of the design initiatives team for taking the lead and asking the how might we question.
- OoFSI What’s New (8/27/18): Today’s Changemakers: A big big job
- OofSI What’s New (10/9/18): Dear student teachers
- OofSI What’s New (12/18/18): Student teachers + design thinking = Changemakers
- MLFTC News Story (12/21/18): Student teachers learn to be creative problem solvers
Dr. Kerry Chappell is a professor at the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education. She merges her training in dance, her doctorate in experimental psychology and interest in education to develop a transdisciplinary research program on better understanding how creativity could be nurtured. Her research has focused on the holistic meanings of learning, knowing, and being, bridging gaps between the understanding of the mind, body and materiality in creativity. She sees disciplines not as glued together but recommends a
mix of perspectives as a way of really getting to the bottom of questions that you are curious about…If you have a question that you’re curious about sometimes your knowledge from an art form might help you; sometimes the sciences might help you. So, it’s not just doing a discipline for the sake of it. It’s really trying to…answer some of the big questions that we’re facing.
Creativity is such a transdisciplinary topic itself that every discipline will have its own approach to understanding it. Psychologists, sociologists, artists, all may perceive and study it differently. Instead of thinking of these differences as contradictory to one other, we need to think of them as offering unique insights into creativity. Dr. Chappell suggests:
I think it gives us lots of perspectives on a concept that we’re all trying to understand, to demonstrate whether it’s there or not. So I think they are all complementary, I don’t think it’s about right and wrong in this kind of research.
Dr. Chappelle was recently interviewed by us for our ongoing series for Tech Trends. You can find a list of all the articles in the series here, and if you are interested in just the interviews, go here. Read the complete article by following the link in the citation below:
Mehta, R., Henriksen, D., & the Deep-Play Research Group (2019). An embodied dialogic endeavor: Towards a posthumanizing approach to creativity with Dr. Kerry Chappell. Tech Trends. 63. p 6-12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0357-7
Every December the Office of Scholarship & Innovation (OofSI) team looks back at the year that was, to document and reflect on all that we have done, as well as to plan for the future. This information is then put together in a report that captures our successes and goals (both collectively and for each of our initiatives).
Specifically, in the latest report we address how OofSI over the past year has:
- Instantiated a culture of principled innovation in everything we do. Which has allowed us to be…
- Nimble and proactive in providing service and leadership to a range of projects, both within the Teachers College/ASU and with external partners. This in turn serves as a foundation for…
- Seeking new opportunities and setting new goals for the future.
• • •
Finally a note of gratitude to the amazing team I get to work with. None of what we do would be possible without their energy, passion and all-round goofy awesomeness.
Since 2008 we have been creating short videos to welcome in the New Year. These videos, created on a shoe-string budget, are usually typographical in nature with some kind of an optical illusion or aha! moment built in. Check out our latest creation to welcome 2019 titled Reflect.
(Links to previous years videos as well as information on the mathematics and art behind such illusions can be found below the video).
Have a great 2019!
- You can see all the previous years’ videos here. Some of them are quite cool, if I say so myself.
How does this illusion work?
- This video takes advantage of a technique called anamorphosis. As anamorphosis.com describes it, ‘an anamorphosis is a deformed image that appears in its true shape when viewed in some “unconventional” way.’ Anamorphosis has a long history in art (see here and here for more examples). In fact, one can argue that anamorphosis is the foundation for all representational visual art.
- This video uses a specific kind of anamorphosis: cylindrical anamorphosis, i.e. creating a distorted image that has been changed in such a manner that it looks normal when reflected in a cylindrical mirror. Mathematically speaking, this requires you convert an image from a cartesian to a polar coordinate system. The best explanations of the mathematics behind the illusion, that I could find, are here and here.
How did we do it?
- The distorted “2019” was created using Adobe Photoshop, first flipping it vertically (so that it would appear right-side-up when reflected on a vertical mirror) and then applying the “Rectangular to Polar Coordinates” filter (since this is a cylindrical mirror). We combined the distorted “2019” with a circular image that we created in Adobe Illustrator—that’s the colorful design in the background with the 2018 written vertically (so that it would be hidden behind the cylinder). This combined image was then printed on poster paper, cut into a circle and colored by hand.
- The cylindrical mirror was a repurposed chromed sink extension tube from the plumbing department of Home Depot. It was placed on the poster, which lay on a glass sheet (a repurposed table top), which, in turn, sat on a rotating kitchen-turntable (aka a Lazy Susan).
- The video was shot using an iPhone8 in reverse order of what you see (so that we could get the angles right), and edited using iMovie. The music is from Kevin McLeod’s amazing open-source collection at incompetech.com.
- You can make your own cylindrical anamorphic image by following the instructions here and here.
I have written previously about the MSUrbanSTEM project and what it has meant to me. Over the past couple of years we have also published about this line of work (most prominently in a special issue of The Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching). Another book chapter (this one focusing on creativity in urban educational contexts) was recently published. Citation, link to article and abstract below.
Horton A., Henriksen D., Mishra P., Seals C., Shack K., Marcotte C. (2019), Creativity and the Urban Teacher: A STEM-Related Professional Development Program. In: Mullen C. (eds) Creativity Under Duress in Education? Creativity Theory and Action in Education, vol 3. Springer DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90272-2_16
Abstract: We examine the urban context of learning for the fellows in a partnership between Michigan State University (MSU) and Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business services company, which resulted in the Wipro Urban STEM Fellowship Program at Michigan State University (MSUrbanSTEM) program. This grant-funded fellowship provided full tuition scholarships and stipends for 124 highly motivated teachers in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) who demonstrated a passion for teaching STEM. The fellows were divided up into three cohorts. Each cohort participated in an innovative yearlong integrated learning experience to build STEM teachers’ capacity to lead and inspire transformative, innovative practices in urban K-12 schools. In this chapter, the fellows’ instructors explore how to support these teacher participants in their efforts to foster creativity in an era of intensified authority, control, and resistance. By engaging in creative pedagogies explicitly connected to disciplinary knowledge, the program aims to disrupt traditional ideologies around teaching. The mission of the MSUrbanSTEM program is to empower K-12 math and science teachers in CPS to create transformative, innovative, and multimodal instructional experiences through project-based and experiential learning experiences. Each educator participant was encouraged to engage in inquiry around how the ideas of wonder, improvisation, invention, and reflection connected with his or her subject-matter expertise. As reported by way of this case example of teacher creativity, these strategies supported the activities the teachers engaged in throughout the year. The fellowship itself provided a foundation for fellows to develop projects for reshaping aspects of their teaching practice.
Photo & image design by @punyamishra
Fig. 1: Header image. Credits: Illustration by Punya Mishra. License CC-BY-NC.
The scientific method is a myth.
In more ways than one.
Typically in school you are taught that the scientific method consists of making observations, developing hypotheses, testing them by collecting data and then accepting, rejecting or modifying the hypotheses. Through this process we develop new laws and theories to understand and explain the world.
We all understand that this is a simplistic description—one that misses the human side of science, the messiness of actual practice, and the unique grounded practices of different scientific disciplines.
I argue that there is another fundamental aspect of doing science that these criticisms miss—and that is the rhetorical nature of science. In other words, it is realizing that at the heart of the scientific method is the process of convincing others of the rightness of our point of view. That is one of the key reasons why we jump through the hoops of double-blind experimental design; why we develop better tools to measure phenomena and so on… essentially to protect our ideas from criticism from others.
This is the heart of blind peer review so that our arguments can be poked and prodded by others and through that we develop more convincing theories and understanding.
This aspect of the scientific method does not receive enough attention in the science classroom.
Our new article addresses how this idea of peer review can be brought into the classroom. This article was published in iWonder: Rediscovering School Science, a journal for middle school science teachers published by the Azim Premji University. This article is part of a series I have been (co)writing over the past few years.
Close, K., Bowers, N., Mehta, R., Mishra, P., & J. Bryan Henderson. Students as teachers: How science teachers can collaborate with their students using peer instruction. iWonder, (5). p. 24-28.
Abstract: This article explores peer instruction in the science classroom. The authors use research in science education to illustrate, practically, how teachers can work with their students to increase learning using peer instruction.
A new challenge I took up in this series was creating the illustrations that go with the articles. I have become increasingly aware of my limitations as an artist but it has been great fun. A heartfelt thanks to Chitra Ravi and Ramgopal Vallath editors of iWonder for giving me/us this opportunity. One of the illustrations I created for this article is at the top of the page and the rest are given below. Continue reading →
I had posted earlier about my visit to Bangalore back in summer to participate in the Quest 2 Learn Annual Summit organized by the Quest Alliance. The two day conference focused on The future of work and learning. During my visit I was interviewed by Aakash Sethi, the head of Quest Alliance team and an edited version of the interview was recently posted on YouTube. We covered a lot of ground in the interview and about educational technology, 21st century learning, John Dewey, experience design, systems thinking and more. Enjoy
Credits: Banner photo/design by Punya Mishra
I have been playing with my iPad a bit, experimenting with sketching and drawing apps for a few months now. I have realized that it is important to give yourself a task, a clear end-goal to work towards if I had to get anywhere. So with that in mind, I decided to sketch out the MSUrbanSTEM team. MSUrbanSTEM was a project(funded by Indian IT giant Wipro) that started when I was at MSU and continued after I had moved to ASU.
The MSU-WIPRO STEM & Leadership Teaching Fellowship program was the culmination of the partnership between global IT giant Wipro, Chicago Public Schools, and Michigan State University’s College of Education. 149 fellows participated in an innovative year-long integrated learning experience to build STEM teachers’ capacity and empower them to lead and inspire transformative, innovative practices in urban K-12 schools.
In this project I was incredibly privileged to work with an awesome team of people—and that’s the group that I decided to focus my iPad experiments on. So the banner image above shows the results of my efforts. (You can click on the image to get a hi-res version). Featured in the sketch are: Top row (from left to right): Missy Cosby, Chris Seals, Inese Berzina Pitcher, Swati Mehta, Rohit Mehta & Kyle Shack. Bottom row (from left to right): Punya Mishra, Candace Marcotte, Sonya Gunnings-Moton, Akesha Horton, Leigh Graves Wolf and Chessi Oetjens.
Herbert Simon, famously wrote: Everyone designs who devises courses of actions aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones. The first two words in this quote are now the title of a recently published journal article (with Danah Henriksen and William Cain) in which we explore the mindsets that lead to learner autonomy. Full citation with link and abstract given below:
Henriksen, D., Cain, W., & Mishra, P. (2018). Everyone Designs: Learner Autonomy through Creative, Reflective, and Iterative Practice Mindsets. Journal of Formative Designs for Learning. doi: 10.1007/s41686-018-0024-6 [Link to PDF].
Abstract: Developing learner autonomy—or the ability to take charge of one’s learning—is a crucial element of teaching and learning and of design work. In this article, we argue that developing learner autonomy in students requires instructors to adopt a two-fold approach through a mindset rooted in creativity and reflective practice. We discuss the theoretical grounding for this mindset, and then situate our discussion by examining an award-winning hybrid-blended course about design thinking in an educational psychology and educational technology doctoral program. The course outcomes qualitatively demonstrated the ways in which students developed a perception of learner autonomy through their work in creating and implementing context-specific educational technology design solutions. We present and discuss evidence from our own formative reflective practice as instructors, along with evidence from students’ reflections, on how themes of learner autonomy emerged via our proposed pedagogical mindset.
Banner illustration by Punya Mishra
The Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy (HYSA) is a school designed for highly gifted students in grades 7-12 affiliated with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Arizona State University. Last Friday I had the pleasure and honor of working with all the students at the academy as a guest for for their “What’s your Passion? Interactive Speaker Series.”
I was invited to this by Dr. Kim Lansdowne, Executive Director, of HYSA and I knew this would be great fun the moment I saw the flyer she shared with me. In particular what stood out was the quote at the top of the flyer.
The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play—Arnold Toynbee
What could be better than that!
For my session, I chose to share with them the work I have done in the area of visual wordplay, specifically its connection to mathematics. I created (actually re-created/revised) some activities I had designed years ago and designed a session that were little segments of my sharing some designs and ideas and then having them play and experiment. The students were awesome, engaged and willing to play. Here are the slides I shared with them and some designs they created.
Figure1: Hidden Beauty & Mathematics ambigram (the word “Hidden” becomes “Beauty” on rotation by 180 degrees, and the word “Mathematics” can be read along the circle both at the top AND the bottom. This was one of the many designs I shared with the students
Most of the work that we do at the Office of Scholarship and Innovation at the Teachers College is practical and pragmatic—working with school districts through our community design model, reimagining what university technology labs can be, supporting faculty in their research and scholarship. At the same time we also engage with deeper theoretical ideas seeking to situate what we do within broader conceptual frames to bring research and practice together. Till recently we haven’t had many chances to present this aspect of what we do to a broader audience. This changed at the recently concluded E-Learn conference in Las Vegas.
I was involved in 5 different presentations at E-Learn but I will focus on the two that are connected to the work we do in OofSI. Sean Leahy and I presented the our vision for the new generation of computer labs. Also, Ben Scragg, Melissa Warr and I presented about the framework we are developing around the role of design in education. Citations, abstracts, and links to the papers and presentations given below.
Leahy, S., & Mishra, P. (2018). Designing the New Generation of Computer Labs for a College of Education. Paper presented at eLearn 2018, Las Vegas. [Link to slides]
Abstract: The purpose of this brief paper presentation is to share the experiences of a complete redesign of the computer lab model and the role it can play to foster creativity, innovation, and improve the learner experience through discovery within a college of education. The origin of this endeavor began with the idea to redesign what a computer lab “is” and what it “does” for students, faculty, and staff within a college of education. The paper explores the need and designs to integrate artificial intelligence, machine learning, mixed reality, and other emerging technologies into the teacher preparation model to best prepare future educators who are prepared to be leaders in educational technology.
Abstract: The history of educational technology is littered with cycles of hype and despair about the potential of a new technology and how it would transform education. We suggest that one reason our field has not been successful at changing education is because we have not understood the complex role design plays over different discourse contexts. We offer a framework that looks at design discourse as it plays out across different levels of the educational process. We argue design of e-learning occurs in somewhat non-overlapping discourses focusing on artifacts, processes, experiences, systems and culture. Each of these discourses has different practices, elements and tools and differ in their inherent complexity or wickedness. It is only by working across these discourses that we can develop productive ways of creating impactful e-learning environments. We offer implications of this framework for design, research, and the training of the next generation of e-learning specialists.
Warr, M., Henriksen, D., & Mishra, P. (2018). What do we mean when we “design” e-learning solutions? An analysis of the discourses on education and design. Paper presented at eLearn 2018, Las Vegas. [Link to slides]
Abstract: Creators of e-learning solutions often call themselves “designers,” but what does it mean when they “design”? The broader educational research literature has recently seen an increase in interest around design, but the meaning of design across discourses is unclear. For example, design can refer to a process of creating something, the resulting product, or characteristics of effective products. Without a clear meaning behind the word design, designers from different disciplines struggle to communicate and integrate research findings. To better understand this issue, we conducted a content analysis of the educational research literature’s use of design in publication titles. Our analysis revealed several areas specifically related to instructional design and e-learning. In this presentation, we share the results of our analysis on the many uses of design as it pertains to e-learning and instructional design. We propose that clarifying what we mean when we use the word design can lead to a more clear and effective discourse.
Henriksen, D., & Mishra, P. (2018). Design thinking and creative problem solving the e-learning way. Paper presented at eLearn 2018, Las Vegas.
Abstract: In this best practices presentation we will describe the design and implementation of a fully online teacher education course about design thinking for creative problem solving in teaching. Teaching design online is challenging because design is an open-ended, hands-on, iterative and creative approach to specific and contextual problems (Cross, 2001). Enacting design practice within the boundaries of the often asynchronous and linear-structure of online learning is difficult. Yet as online courses become more prevalent in teacher education, we must consider ways to translate open-ended and creative content such as design thinking, into online learning settings. We present a case of a highly-rated online course in a top-ranked teacher education program. This course uses a design thinking model to help teachers learn to creatively address problems of practice that arise within their unique teaching contexts. We offer suggestions and implications for teaching design thinking as a framework for teacher problem solving, and for integrating such kinds of coursework into fully online learning settings.
Mishra, P., & Henriksen, D. (2018). Face to face AND online; Synchronous AND A-synchronous: A hybrid blended doctoral seminar. Paper presented at eLearn 2018, Las Vegas.
Abstract: In this best practices presentation we share the experience and learning from a doctoral seminar on design that moved into a new hybrid setting. The course content focused on topics of design, media and knowledge, while providing a unique opportunity to think more deeply about these issues as we redesigned it for this new media. To successfully meet the needs of students in varying learning contexts, we implemented innovative approaches to bring the two groups of f2f and online students together into the same course meeting times. In this highly blended classroom, students from different settings met and worked together, synchronously and a-synchronously, in real-time and online. The class “met” synchronously throughout the semester, at regular evening times (to accommodate the working students), through a combination of video, online, cloud computing, and text-based tools. This presentation will elaborate on examples from this course that highlight the benefits and challenges of teaching in this new “in-between” medium, particularly at the doctoral level. Presenters will discuss issues that arose in redesigning and implementing a hybrid course, as well as the ways that these issues of curriculum and technology were navigated successfully.
I had posted earlier about the work our design initiatives team is involved with at Miami Junior-Senior High School. Essentially the entire faculty and leadership at the school have taken on the challenge of re-imagining the 7/8 curriculum through an integrated historical lens. More details about this project can be found here: Rethinking 7/8 curriculum at Miami/Globe.
I recently received a video from Glen Lineberry, principal of the school, and the brains behind this project. This video was created by high-school students working under the guidance of Professor Christian Rozier an established documentary filmmaker and professor of Media Studies and Digital Storytelling at the University of Missouri. The film crew, self-dubbed Out of Focus, has been learning how to script, film and edit short films this is just one of many they have created. You can find other videos by going to the district website (www.miamiusd40.org and through that navigating to the high school page).
It is truly exciting to see not just the way the project has grown and evolved but also to hear directly from teachers and students who have been part of it. We are grateful to be part of this wonderful team seeking to enhance the learning experience of their students.
Banner image design ©punyamishra | Photo credit: storyblocks images
New (tongue-in-cheek) TPACK diagram
The growth of work around TPACK never ceases to amaze me. A new feature that Judi recently added to the newsletter is the total number of publications that have utilized TPACK as a critical framework for research and scholarship. By September 2018, there have been 964 articles, 243 book chapters, 26 books, and 302 dissertations around TPACK. Wow!
Followup from Judi Harris, received by email:
The total numbers of TPACK pubs that appear in issue 38 of the newsletter are only the numbers of TPACK pubs that have appeared in the TPACK newsletters (since January 2009). If you add the citations that were published before the newsletters began distribution, the numbers rise to:
Journal articles: 982
Chapters: 243 (same)
And if you add all of the conference papers that have used or focused upon TPACK, the total number of TPCK/TPACK pubs rises to more than 3200.
Note: New (tongue-in-cheek) TPACK diagram by punyamishra
I have been at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College for two years now (actually two years and a month, but who is counting). In many ways this has been an incredible two years, a period of personal and professional growth and an opportunity to truly engage with some of most difficult and challenging issues facing education today. And this engagement has not just been theoretical, it has been hands-on and minds-on, frustrating at times but always exhilarating.
At the heart of it is this idea of reimagining what a college of education can be. Carole Basile started as Dean just a month or two before I joined ASU, and within weeks of meeting her I realized (as I am sure many others did as well) that she was a different kind of leader. She had a vision for the college and how we operated, both externally and internally. It was a vision not bound to convention or prior successes. It was an evolving vision guided by a openness to ideas, a willingness to experiment, coupled with a strong desire to make a difference at scale. It moved from creating one-off projects, programs, and activities to changing systems and culture. It brought a design lens to the educational enterprise.
A year ago Carole wrote about her broader vision in 3 articles: find them here, here and here). Some of these ideas were also captured in a presentation we made to AACTE titled: Reimagining the Role of the College of Education: One College’s Ongoing Story.
And last week, almost a year from her first set of articles, Dean Basile looks back and offers a first year progress report: Education by design: A year of thinking and doing. In this article she offers “a summary overview of a year of thinking and doing as we work with partners to create effective innovations that will improve education.”
Carole’s article provided me with an opportunity to think about the work we are involved in the Office of Scholarship and Innovation (OofSI). Two years ago, when I started, it was the Office of Scholarship with two people: Clarin Collins and I—working on supporting faculty in their scholarship. In the last year office expanded dramatically both in terms of personnel and also the scope of the work we do. (A change in name also happened along the way.) OofSI has grown to over 20+ people, engaged not just in supporting faculty research; but also creating digital solutions for learning; and bringing collaborative design-based problem-solving to educational systems. You can learn more about what we are involved in by going to the OofSI website, specifically the What’s New page.
Illustration by Punya Mishra.
See sketch of Douglas Adams at the end of this post.
I have always been a huge fan of Douglas Adams, trying to sneak in his ideas into my academic writing whenever I can. I had written about my previous attempts in a blog post titled: Douglas Adams, technologies & anticipatory plagiarism. I should admit that am lucky to have co-authors who share my love for Adams and enjoy playing these games together.
Danah Henriksen and I were recently asked to write a Foreword to a book on Computational Thinking in the STEM Disciplines and that gave us another opportunity to bring in Douglas Adams and his ideas. In this pieces we built on an insightful talk given by Adams in 1998 at Magdalene College, Cambridge.You can read a transcript of the talk here or listen to it here. As we write in the article:
In a wide ranging, extempore speech, Adams covered a range of topics, in his inimitably funny yet insightful manner, including the cultural and intellectual history of the human civilization. One of the insights he shared with the audience how human technological history consists of, what he referred to as, the four ages of sand. Specifically, Adams seeks to describe how technological change has changed and broadened our understanding of ourselves and the world.
You can read our article by following the link below.
Mishra, P., & Henriksen, D. (2018). Foreword. In M. S. Khine (Ed). Computational Thinking in the STEM disciplines: Foundations and Research Highlights. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93566-9
Dr. Ronald Beghetto, Professor of Educational Psychology in the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, is an internationally recognized expert on creative thought and action in educational settings. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Creative Behavior (the oldest and longest standing journal devoted to creativity research), and creativity advisor for Lego Foundation. His research focuses on promoting creativity in everyday teaching, learning, and leadership practices. A central theme in his work examines how making small changes to existing teaching, learning, and leadership practices can offer. As he says speaking of creativity in education:
I talk about the concept of lesson unplanning. It’s not about starting all over again, it’s about starting with what you already have, which may be an over-planned lesson, where you’ve predetermined what the outcome is, how to get there, what it’ll look like when you get there and the criteria. All that is fine when you’re initially introducing a concept and rehearsing it. But once students have it, consider whether you can start removing pieces? Maybe have them come up with a different way of meeting the criteria, or come up with their own problems? So, we as educators maintain the criteria…but what if we allowed students to come up with the ways they’re going to meet that criteria?
As he says:
It’s not about thinking outside the box, it’s about thinking creatively inside the box… we’re really really good at defining and specifying the task constraints down to an almost ridiculous level of detail. But we’re not that great about creating spaces for originally meeting those task constraints in different and unexpected ways.
Dr. Beghetto is also the latest creativity researcher to be interviewed in our ongoing article series for Tech Trends. You can find a list of all the articles in the series here, and if you are interested in just the interviews, go here. Read the complete article by following the link in the citation below:
Henriksen, D., Mishra, P. & the Deep-Play Research Group (2018). Creativity, Uncertainty, and Beautiful Risks: a Conversation with Dr. Ronald Beghetto. Tech Trends. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0329-y
Photo credit: Punya Mishra
Note: Apologies in advance for the long post. This has been festering / brewing for a while and I wanted to get it right. In essence this post offers a tweak to the canonical TPACK image, explained in greater detail below.
Note 2 (November 30, 2018). You are free to use the updated version of the TPACK diagram in your work under the following stipulations. First, you or the publisher do not make any claims to copyright over the image. Second, you use the language below to label / cite the image.
Caption the image as follows: Revised version of the TPACK image. © Punya Mishra, 2018. Reproduced with permission
Cite in references as follows: Mishra, P., (2018). Revised version of TPACK image. Retrieved from https://punyamishra.com/2018/09/10/the-tpack-diagram-gets-an-upgrade/
The TPACK (or Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) framework describes the kinds of knowledge required by teachers for successful integration of technology in their teaching. It was an idea that had been in the zeitgeist, so to speak, in the early 2000’s, with a number of scholars working in that space. Back in 2006, Matt Koehler and I wrote the key article in TCRecord that really put TPACK on the map.That article has over 7000 citations and Judi Harris, who maintains the TPACK newsletter, informed me that since 2009 there have been over 1100 journal articles and book chapters, almost 300 dissertations and 25+ books written with TPACK as the central theoretical construct. The TPACK framework has been called one of the most significant ideas in educational technology in recent history and has a huge influence on both research and practice in teacher education and teacher professional development across the world. All in all a pretty big deal.
The framework is most easily recognized by the diagram given below.
This image didn’t just happen. It went through multiple iterations before it got to the final shape and version that it has (some of these iterations are given at the top of the page). The evolution of the image itself is an interesting story, full of blind alleys and external factors that guided its evolution. (See this video “Why Theory: The TPACK story” for my take; this one for Matt’s version “Blurred visions, another history of TPACK” and an addendum to my story here.)
The TPACK image has pretty much stayed the same since 2009/2010, though to be fair there have been there have been some attempts to revise, reimagine, and redesign the existing model, some of which are shown below. That said, the canonical image is the one that has persisted, relatively unchanged, for a decade or more.
Alternative suggestions for the TPACK image
What I am presenting here (in this post) is a tweak on the canonical image—a revision that seeks to resolve a semantic inconsistency in the diagram. This inconsistency has bothered me for a while, since it was first pointed out to me, many years ago, by a student at Twente University (sadly someone whose name I do not remember). The new version of the image can be found towards the end of this posting, but first the inconsistency and why the canonical image needs a (relatively minor but, I think, important) makeover.
The inconsistency in question has to do what a circle (or more accurately, an enclosed space) means in the diagram. Clearly, the three overlapping circles at the center of the diagram (T, P, & C) represent aspects of teacher knowledge, the K in TK, PK and CK. A circle encloses space – so one can say that (in the TPACK diagram):
An enclosed space = knowledge.
This why the overlaps (TPK, PCK, TCK) though not circles, can be considered as being knowledge as well—they enclose space!
This brings us to the larger dotted circle, and the inconsistency. The outer dotted circle encloses a space but it is not designated as being a form of knowledge. It is just labeled “Context” or “Contexts.” Since TPACK is a framework for teacher knowledge, every enclosed space should represent some aspect of teacher knowledge. That works for TK, PK and CK (and the overlaps, TCK, PCK, TPK and TPCK) and should for the outer dotted circle as well.
Of course, once this issue is identified, there is an easy solution. Just rename the outer dotted circle to be “Contextual Knowledge” (i.e. the knowledge the teacher has of the context), and then everything will be A-OK. Contextual Knowledge would be everything from a teacher’s awareness of the kinds of technologies available to them and their students; to their knowledge of the school, district and state policies that they have to function within.
There is an added benefit to calling the outer circle Contextual Knowledge. Doing so makes the outer circle another key knowledge domain that teachers need to possess for the integration of technology in teaching. This, in turn, implies that contextual knowledge is something that we (as teacher educators) can act on, that we can seek to change, and something that teachers need to develop. Just as we seek to increase teachers’ PK, CK and TK and through that their TPACK, it becomes clear in this new view of the outer dotted circle, that we ought to work towards increasing their contextual knowledge as well. In fact, I would argue that contextual knowledge is of critical importance to teachers and the lack of it would limit, in significant ways, the effectiveness and success of any TPACK development program, or an individual teacher’s attempts at technology integration.
This is not to say that researchers and practitioners have not paid attention to context – that is why that circle was added to the diagram. It is just that this nuance was not integral to the current representation of TPACK, hence limiting its application.
Coming back to the representation. If we agree that this outer circle should be labelled “Contextual Knowledge” the question that arises is what its acronym should be. CK is already taken (for Content Knowledge) and adding another CK would be confusing.
My suggestion is that we should call the outer dotted circle XK for “conteXtual Knowledge” allowing us to distinguish it from CK. It is also cool, I think, to us X for conteXtual because X is usually used to denote a variable – which is what contextual knowledge often is—highly variable.
Image credit: here
So without further ado, here is the final (hah!) version of the TPACK diagram.
The addition of XK to the diagram has another additional benefit. It allows us to highlight the organizational and situational constraints that teachers work within. Often the success of their efforts depends not as much on their knowledge of T, P, C and its overlaps, but rather on their knowledge of the context. This allows us to go beyond seeing teachers as designers of curriculum that apply within their classrooms but rather as being intrapreneurs—aware of how their organization functions, the levers of power and influence that they can engage with to effect change. This is XK – Contextual Knowledge.
I could go on and on about this idea of intrapreneurship—in fact developing intrapreneurship is one of the key goals of the work we are currently engaged in at the Office of Scholarship and Innovation at the Teachers College at ASU. That, however, is a post for another day.
A silent white board
Scribble a first line, and wait
Last Friday, goofing off between meetings, I scribbled one line, five syllables long, on one of the white-boards in our office space. Within a few minutes, lo and behold, was a lovely haiku, courtesy of my colleagues Clarin Collins and Jennifer Stein, each contributing a line. Below is my visual representation of it. Enjoy.
Flash of red, a balloon floats
Wander where it may
Haiku created by Clarin Collins, Jennifer Stein and Punya Mishra.
Image created by Punya Mishra.
I love collecting quotations—usually related to learning, design, and creativity. Over the past couple of years I started trying to visualize these quotations, playing with type and image, to tease apart their meanings, sometimes to undermine, sometimes to enhance. I call these verbo-visual experiments LanguageART (shout out to Danah Henriksen for the suggestion).
Of course, there are rules to the game, certain self-imposed constraints within which I choose to play. By their very nature these rules are arbitrary, as rules for games should be. For instance, all of these images are created in Keynote, Apple’s equivalent of Powerpoint. It is not that I do not have access to other more powerful graphic design software but in some sense using a presentation software to create something relatively interesting and sophisticated is the challenge. Similarly the only font I am allowed to use is Futura (and its different weights)—though this is a rule I have violated on occasion (but rarely). I also restrain myself to a relatively tight color palette, but again this is a rule I have broken a few times. Over the past two years, I have created hundreds of designs, poured hours of my life into them—usually at meetings—and, till recently have not shared them widely. That changes now. Enjoy.