Representing me

by | Friday, October 24, 2008

Sharon Guan with the Instructional Design & Development Group at DePaul University has invited me to present at a faculty conference next April. I will be speaking about the manner in which new technologies are pushing us to blur the lines between the professional and the personal. [See last year’s website here.] She needed a picture to post on the conference website that could represent this shift. Here are two that I came up with.

The fragmenting professor

Teacher 2.0 Badge

I think we are going with the latter. What do you think?

For the record, here is the abstract of the presentation

Blurring the Boundaries Between the Personal and Professional in A Webbed World

One of the primary goals of teaching is to make the life of the mind come alive for our students and we attempt to do it any which way we can, manipulating props and ideas to convey a personal and unique connection to our students and the subject matter being taught. As teachers, we want our students to see us as being knowledgeable yet accessible, wise but funny, cerebral but warm, benevolent and yet firm. With increased use of online technology, these paradoxical demands get further complicated because in the online context these contradictory impulses need to be represented through the arcane language of HTML and “channeled” through a bunch of electrons sitting on a web server somewhere. Moreover, the increasing use of content management systems and an emphasis on “standardization” has led to a bland and uniform look and feel for course websites. In this presentation, Dr. Mishra decries such a one-size-fits-all approach, and argues that the design of any course needs to carefully reflect the passions and pedagogical philosophy that drive the instructor. This becomes increasingly important as we move into newer Web 2.0 and social media that blur the boundaries between the personal and professional, between faculty and students.

A few randomly selected blog posts…

Presentation at University of Zurich

Presentation at University of Zurich

I was invited by my friend Dominik Petko, Professor of Teaching and Educational Technology at the Institute for Educational Science at the University of Zurich to make a presentation to their faculty and staff. The video of my presentation (Contextualizing TPACK...

Uncreativity: An interview with Chris Bilton

Uncreativity: An interview with Chris Bilton

"un-creativity" design, invariant under rotation by 180-degrees In this article, in our ongoing series on Rethinking technology & creativity in the 21st century, we interview Dr. Chris Bilton, Reader at the Centre for Policy Studies at University of...

Who said this?

A quote in today's oped in the NYTimes, about how this current financial crisis is difficult to understand since many of the decisions were taken by computer programs. The author quotes someone as follows: the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a...

Amusings & other creations (from the early web)

Amusings & other creations (from the early web)

I have been blogging for 15 years now, but I have had a website for much longer than that. I built my first website back in 1998 just as I was graduating from UIUC and entering the academic job market. I still remember the URL ( I designed a...

Math-Music, serious game design

My 8 year old daughter, Shreya, came to me the other day and said that she had designed a learning game. I asked her to draw it out for me and here is what she had created. The game is called Math Music and I guess, it builds on the Guitar Hero idea, but adds...

Creativity @ Plymouth, year 3

I spent some time last week with each of the MAET cohorts at Plymouth England. I have blogged about my time with Year 1 here and Year 2 here (as well as some other posts here and here). This is about what I did with the Year 3 cohort. As usual, I did my TPACK and...

A defining moment?

Is this a defining moment of our time? One can just hope...

Online vs. face to face: On asking the wrong question

The NYTimes has a story today about how higher prices of gas are driving up the demand for online learning. This is a great example of "synergistic" effects between seemingly disparate events that could not have been easily anticipated - but seem to make perfect sense...


  1. Aubrey Sidell

    I came across your website and think it’s fantastic.I would like to start a web design blog. Thanks!

  2. Punya Mishra

    Sean, yes these were created using the “Hockneyizer”… I should have mentioned that in my original posting. I look forward to playing with photofunia as well. thanks

  3. Punya Mishra

    Brooke, thanks for the note. I think DePaul chose to go with the second one, though I think the first one may be more appropriate (and cooler). Thanks also for the link to the photo-collage. That is cool.

  4. Brooke Peiffer

    I like the former, but they both work! I am the advisor of “Shutter to Think” photography club at the High School where I teach. Each week we have an assignment, then we get together and show our results. There is some amazing talent in the group and we have a lot of fun. Last week our topic was “The Real Me” and I had to send you this link, because I too did a photo collage to represent me, although I do not appear in the piece. Instead it is of my classroom. 🙂

  5. Sara Meyer

    I like the first one – aren’t we talking about not necessarily getting the whole picture at times? Until all members of the conversation are skilled in output and input of the conversational turn taking – we really won’t have the big picture. So I like the first one…… The second one tells me too much about you – do I need to know all that if I am a student in your class? a member of your faculty? a family member? Our relationships have become so specific and non-encompassing – We segregate our relationships – I am one to my MSU colleges and another to my work colleges and yet another to my religious sect members.

  6. Naba Kumar Mishra

    It will be better if u will add some Orissa related topics to your web


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