TPACK Newsletter #20: May 2014

May 16, 2014 § Leave a Comment


TPACK Newsletter, Issue #20: May 2014
Welcome to the twentieth edition of the (approximately bimonthly) TPACK Newsletter! TPACK work is continuing worldwide. This document contains recent updates to that work that we hope will be interesting and useful to you, our subscribers.

If you are not sure what TPACK is, please surf over to to find out more.

Gratuitous Quote About Technology

Technology is anything that was invented after you were born— Alan Kay

In This Issue

-1. Gratuitous Quote About Technology
0. In This Issue (You are here.)
1. TPACK Newsletter Update
2. Recent TPACK Publication
3. Recent TPACK-Related Dissertations
4. Recent TPACK Presentations
5. Recent TPACK-Related Blog Entry
6. TPACK Newsletter Suggested Citation
7. Learning and Doing More with TPACK
–. Un-numbered miscellaneous stuff at the end

« Read the rest of this entry »

Discrimination in Academia, an experiment with a personal connection

May 9, 2014 § Leave a Comment


Try as we might to be open-minded the truth is that we all have biases. These biases can be subtle and insidious and it is rare that we get to confront them head on. A recent story that has been making the rounds on  NPR, InsideHigherEd, and The Washington Post about racial and gender bias in higher education, forced me to face this issue, and though, as it turns out, I turned out OK in the end, it did raise some important questions about us academics.

It is a longish story, mainly because I have to provide some context for the study. So bear with me…

In a study titled “What Happens Before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations,” the researchers (Milkman, Akinola, and Chugh) sent identical email messages to 6,500 professors across a range of disciplines in 250 of the top universities in the US. Each message indicated that the “student” was impressed with the professor’s work and requested a meeting. These messages were identical in every respect except in one crucial way: the names of the fictitious students.  These were the names used in the study,

Brad Anderson, Steven Smith, Meredith Roberts, Claire Smith, Lamar Washington, Terell Jones, Keisha Thomas, Latoya Brown, Carlos Lopez, Juan Gonzalez, Gabriella Rodriguez, Juanita Martinez, Raj Singh, Deepak Patel, Sonali Desai, Indira Shah, Chang Huang, Dong Lin, Mei Chen, Ling Wong

As you can see the only thing that distinguishes them is that they varied along two key dimensions Gender (male v.s. female) and Race (white, Latino/a, black, Indian or Chinese). What the researchers were looking at was how often professors wrote back agreeing to meet with the students. From this they could infer whether the gender/race of the person writing to the faculty member made a difference to the response rates?

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Creativity in the lives of accomplished teachers: Pre-pub version

March 28, 2014 § Leave a Comment

creativity.001How do exemplary teachers incorporate creativity in their teaching? In this dissertation study, Danah Henriksen  interviewed National Teacher of the Year award winners (and finalists), to better understand their beliefs, interests, and practices involving creative teaching. Analysis of the data help us identify key themes of how these teachers approach the creative process, as well as the connection between their personal interests and professional creativity.

This paper has been accepted for publication in Teachers College Record. The link below is to a pre-publication version, so please contact us if you would like to quote from it or cite it.


Henriksen, D., & Mishra, P. (in press). We teach who we are: Creativity in the lives and practices of accomplished teachers. Teachers College Press.

Extended Abstract

« Read the rest of this entry »

Of math and ambigrams: Exploring Symmetry

March 26, 2014 § Leave a Comment

01-symmetryAmbigram for Symmetry displaying rotational symmetry

I have been writing a series of articles for At Right Angles (a mathematics education magazine) with my friend Gaurav Bhatnagar on the art and mathematics of ambigrams. The first article in the series (Of Art and Math: Introducing Ambigrams) was published back in December. It is now time for the second column: Of Art & Math: Introducing Symmetry.


I had a lot of fun working on this with Gaurav. He challenged me to come up with some new designs… and there are couple in there that I am truly proud of. So click the link (or image) above and enjoy.


TPACK Newsletter Issue #19, March, 2014

March 25, 2014 § Leave a Comment


TPACK Newsletter, Issue #19: March, 2014
Welcome to the nineteenth edition of the (approximately bimonthly) TPACK Newsletter! TPACK work is continuing worldwide. This document contains recent updates to that work that we hope will be interesting and useful to you, our subscribers. If you are not sure what TPACK is, please surf over to to find out more.

If you are not sure what TPACK is, please surf over to to find out more.

Gratuitous Quote About Technology
We’ve got 21st-century technology and speed colliding head-on with 20th- and 19th-century institutions, rules and cultures.— Amory Lovins

In This Issue

-1. Gratuitous Quote About Technology
0. In This Issue (You are here.)
1. TPACK Newsletter Update
2. Recent TPACK Publications
3. Recent TPACK-Related Dissertations & Theses
4. Recent & Upcoming TPACK Presentations
5. Recent TPACK-Related Blog Entries
6. TPACK Newsletter Suggested Citation
7. Learning and Doing More with TPACK
–. Un-numbered miscellaneous stuff at the end

« Read the rest of this entry »

What is the value of a theoretical framework?

March 25, 2014 § 2 Comments


One question that all doctoral students dread (and rightfully so) is “What is your theoretical framework?” Why, they wonder (silently), why do we need a framework?

This question popped up recently in, of all places, Facebook. Pilar Quezzaire, a graduate of our MAET program, posted a question to our overseas FB page as follows:

Busy writing away about technology integration frameworks like TPACK, and I’ve been asked to come up with a few definitive articles about their effectiveness in general (not the effectiveness of a particular framework.) Has anyone come across a source that looks at the difference between integrating tech with a framework in mind, versus integrating technology without one? … I can (cite/list) lots of articles and case studies, but no one seems to have looked at the trend of using frameworks. Thanks!

This was not something I had given much thought to before. Theory is sacrosanct in academia, its the air we breathe so why question it. Reflecting on Pilar’s question prompted me to respond at length (maybe at greater length than she needed or wanted). Interestingly, the discussion moved form citing specific studies into the deeper philosophy of science issues. This is what I wrote (edited lightly to make it work as a blog post):

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EPET at SITE, 2014

March 3, 2014 § 1 Comment

SITE2014 (the annual conference of the Society of Information Technology in Teacher Education) is being held in Jacksonville, Florida starting the 17th of March. As always, the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program at MSU has a significant presence at the conference. This includes presentations and symposia organized by faculty, graduate students and graduates of our program. Thanks to Rohit Mehta, we now have a list of all the various events EPET people are involved in. Here it is, arranged chronologically:

« Read the rest of this entry »

21st century learning article receives ISTE award

February 19, 2014 § 2 Comments


Back in July 2013, the Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education (JDLTE) published our paper on 21st Century Learning. This paper written with Kristen Kereluik, Chris Fahnoe and Laura Terry looked at over a dozen different 21st century learning frameworks and attempted to come up with a coherent overarching framework—and its implications for teacher education. I have received occasional emails from people who have stumbled on this article and have liked it. What has been gratifying is that most of these messages are from practitioners! And then… yesterday, we received an email, as follows:

This year marks the beginning of an annual recognition for researchers who have published in the Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education—the JDLTE Outstanding Research Paper award. This award is in recognition of the single article from the prior volume year with the highest possibility to advance the field of teacher education, based on the criteria of potential impact and contribution, innovativeness, and generalizability or usability.
As Chair of the JDLTE Outstanding Research Article Award Committee, along with the editors of JDLTE, I am pleased to let you know that your article, “What Knowledge is of Most Worth: Teacher Knowledge for 21st Century Learning, by Kristen Kereluik, Punya Mishra, Chris Fahnoe, and Laura Terry, has won this prestigious honor.
We would like to recognize your work during the ISTE conference this summer, and invite you to present your study during a full one-hour session that has been set aside for this purpose.
 How cool is that!!

Here is the full reference with a link to the article.

Kereluik, K., Mishra, P., Fahnoe, C., & Terry, L. (2013). What knowledge is of most worth: Teacher knowledge for 21st century learningJournal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 29(4), 127-140.

Also the diagram synthesizing our findings can be found here:


Of clouds, lentils and deep geometries

February 16, 2014 § Leave a Comment

Back in March of 2012 I was on a plane flying back from the SITE2012 conference in Austin, Texas and noticed an interesting cloud-formation through my airplane window. This intrigued me enough that I took a picture. Here it is (click on the image for a larger version).


What intrigued me were the manner in which the clouds were lined up in almost prefect parallel lines! I had no real explanation for this – just something interesting worth recording. That image has been sitting on my phone for a couple of years now… and haven’t really given it much thought, till this morning…

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Research to practice : 3 articles

February 3, 2014 § Leave a Comment

Matt Koehler and I are co-editors for an ongoing series of articles “From Research to Practice” for Education Matters, an educational magazine published by Educational Technology & Management Academy (ETMA). ETMA is non-profit organization based in New Delhi dedicated to pioneering innovations through research and development. Three of these articles are now available online. I had posted about the first a while ago and as I wrote then, this series has been great fun to write, allow us to work closely with graduate students in writing for a popular audience. I am quite proud of how our students have managed to take complex research and present it in a manner that is simple and accessible, but never simplistic.

What is TPACK? Updated article

January 22, 2014 § Leave a Comment

Infinite Mirror(?) | Josh Otis | Flickr

There are some articles that sink without a trace. There are others like our 2006 TCRecord article introducing the TPACK framework that continues to be cited… and then there are some that keep getting published over and over (albeit in an updated manner). Here is one of them… the gift that keeps on giving!

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Where do creative ideas come from? 2 articles

January 7, 2014 § Leave a Comment


The new year begins with the publication of 2 key articles in our series Rethinking Technology and Creativity in the 21st Century. Co-authored with Danah Henriksen and the Deep-Play Research Group these two articles seek to develop a better understanding of where creative ideas come from.

Henriksen, D., Mishra, P., & the Deep-Play research group (2014). Twisting knobs and connecting things: Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century. Tech Trends, (58)1, P. 15-19

Mishra, P., Henriksen, D., & the Deep-Play research group (2014). Revisited and Remixed: Creative Variations and Twisting Knobs.Tech Trends, (58)1, P. 20-23

In these two articles we question the “myth of the genius” and argue that creativity is not a “magical” process, but rather creative ideas emerge from combining pre-existing ideas and concepts in unique and new ways. Though this may appear to be a simplistic formulation, we suggest that it is far from that. Creating these novel, effective and whole combinations is unpredictable and requires people to bring together a wide range of background knowledge and experience. It is this breadth of knowledge and experience that allows creative individuals to see novel connections and act on them. The second article extends and grounds these ideas by offering specific examples taken from the world of puzzle and game design.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Have a great 2014!

December 31, 2013 § 10 Comments

It is that time of the year… the time for the Mishra/Sawai family new year’s video. As tradition has it the video needs to be some kind of a typographical animation, typically a play with words that is synchronized to music, and attempts to incorporate a visually interesting “aha!” moment. The video never includes people (except for may be a still-shot of the entire family somewhere towards the end).

The videos have become more complex over the years and the challenge, of course, is to create something that exceeds what we did the year before. Our budgets have also risen – going from zero when we first started  to around $10 this time around. What has not changed is the fun we have in creating these videos and sharing them with all of you. Below is our latest video, titled Point of View: Happy 2014. Enjoy.

Wish you a great 2014!
From Shreya, Soham, Smita & Punya

Here are links to the videos from the previous years (along with some other videos made as a family):

Designing shared spaces, one example

December 16, 2013 § 1 Comment

Design is about engineering. It is about art. And most importantly it is about the psychology of individuals and groups and their interactions with artifacts.

I am always on the lookout for examples of good (or bad) design. Sadly I too often come across the latter than the former!

One fantastic example of good design I recently came across (thanks to Chris Rust and the PhD-Design List) ‘one of the most ambitious examples so far of “shared space” street design.” You have to see the video below to understand how design changes how humans behave and interact.
YouTube Preview Image

TPACK Newsletter, Issue #18, December 2013

December 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment


TPACK Newsletter, Issue #18: December 2013

Welcome to the eighteenth edition of the (approximately bimonthly) TPACK Newsletter! TPACK work is continuing worldwide. This document contains recent updates to that work that we hope will be interesting and useful to you, our subscribers. If you are not sure what TPACK is, please surf over to to find out more.

Gratuitous Quote About Technology
“The good part about writing about technology is that you never run out of ideas, because it’s changing so fast. The bad part is that it’s changing so fast that there’s a million new products and ideas every day and every week.”- Walt Mossberg

In This Issue
-1.      Gratuitous Quote About Technology
0.      In This Issue                     (You are here.)
1.      TPACK Newsletter Update
2.      Recent TPACK Publications
3.      Recent TPACK-Related Dissertations & Theses
4.      Recent & Upcoming TPACK Presentations
5.      Recent TPACK-Related Blog Entries
6.      Other TPACK Updates
7.      TPACK Newsletter Suggested Citation
8.      Learning and Doing More with TPACK
–.       Un-numbered miscellaneous stuff at the end

« Read the rest of this entry »

Of Math and Ambigrams, a new series of articles…

December 10, 2013 § Leave a Comment


Mathematicians love puzzles—they love to play with numbers and shapes but often their love can turn to words and other areas that, at least on the surface, have little to do with mathematics. One form of visual wordplay with some deep connections to mathematics, and one that I have played with over they years, are called ambigrams.  (Click here for examples of ambigrams I have published on this blog in the past.) Ambigrams exploit how words are written and bring together the mathematics of symmetry, the elegance of typography and the psychology of visual perception to create surprising, artistic designs. For instance see the rotational ambigram for the word-pair “create-math” at the top and a design for “theorem” below. In both cases the words read the same even when rotated 180 degrees.

theoremTill recently ambigrams were something I created for fun. I knew of their mathematical underpinings, explored them once in a while, but never really took that part seriously. This despite my interest in creativity and the value of making connections across disciplines. Well that has changed…

« Read the rest of this entry »

Of garbage cans and psychological media: Remembering Clifford Nass

November 5, 2013 § Leave a Comment

This has been a day of sad news from Stanford University. I blogged about the passing away of Dr. Nalini Ambady (see blog post here). I will digress a bit before I describe the second piece of news because the connection to me (and my work) is much more salient.

« Read the rest of this entry »

10 seconds is all it takes … to judge a teacher

November 5, 2013 § 2 Comments


I just read of the sad demise of Nalini Ambady, social psychologist at Stanford. Her research on the accuracy of first impressions connected with me (from the moment I first glimpsed it). As the NYTimes reports (Nalini Ambady, Psychologist of Intuition, Is Dead at 54) Dr. Ambady’s research on how people make snap judgements tells us just how important first impressions are.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Creativity, Technology & Teacher Education, Call for papers

November 1, 2013 § 12 Comments

We (Punya Mishra and Danah Henriksen, faculty at Michigan State University) are currently planning a special issue for the Journal of Teacher Education and Technology, on the topic of creativity. At the moment, we are looking for brief abstract submissions from educational scholars/authors, who may be interested in eventually submitting a full length piece on creativity (in the context of technology and teacher education). See below for a formal call for papers (with the brief abstract due at the beginning of December).

Drop us a line if you want to know more or forward this link to anybody who you think may be interested. Your help would be greatly appreciated.


~ Punya Mishra and Danah Henriksen (editors)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special issue on Creativity, Technology & Teacher Education

Banksy’s biggest trick OR why I hate art museums

October 15, 2013 § 4 Comments

I have been a fan of Banksy, the subversive British street artist, for a long time. I love the visuals he comes up with, the subversive quality of his art and most importantly his ability to take art out of the galleries into the real world. His most recent trick, during his New York residency, struck a chord deeper than ever before. Here is the description from the Huffington Post

On his website on Sunday, the artist announced that he had set up a stall along Central Park on Saturday—selling “100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each.” That’s right: Banksy, whose works sell for millions at auction, sold canvases for $60 on the streets of New York. And the most unbelievable part? Almost no one bought them. It was part stunt, part social experiment…

What’s ironic is that

A limited edition print of Love Is In The Air – the image of the man throwing a hand grenade of flowers, which was stationed on the center of the table – sold for $249,000 at Bonham’s last June.

And here’s the question

If people don’t know they are looking at work from a world-famous artist, do they even care?

« Read the rest of this entry »

TPACK Newsletter, Issue #17: September 2013

September 23, 2013 § 1 Comment


TPACK Newsletter, Issue #17: September 2013

Welcome to the seventeenth edition of the (approximately bimonthly) TPACK Newsletter! TPACK work is continuing worldwide. This document contains recent updates to that work that we hope will be interesting and useful to you, our subscribers.

If you are not sure what TPACK is, please surf over to to find out more.

Gratuitous Quote About Technology

New technology is common; new thinking is rare — Sir Peter Blake

In This Issue

-1.      Gratuitous Quote About Technology
0.      In This Issue                     (You are here.)
1.      TPACK Newsletter Update
2.      Recent TPACK Publications
3.      Recent TPACK-Related Dissertations
4.      Recent TPACK Presentations
5.      Selected TPACK-Related Blog Entries
6.      Recent TPACK-Related Videos
7.      TPACK Newsletter Suggested Citation
8.      Learning and Doing More with TPACK
 –.      Un-numbered miscellaneous stuff at the end

« Read the rest of this entry »

Technology Surveys for K12 students

September 12, 2013 § Leave a Comment

5066618648_5513cded9e_nPhoto iPad Dream #2 by Lance Shields from Flickr

I received an email from one Holly Marich, a doctoral student in our hybrid-PhD program, asking if I knew about any  technology usage surveys her school district can give their K-12 students. I didn’t know of one so I sent out a tweet:

« Read the rest of this entry »

21st Century Competencies, what are they? New article

September 10, 2013 § 1 Comment

Back in June 2011 I was in Paris for EduSummITBuilding a Global Community of Policy-Makers, Educators, and Researchers to Move Education into the Digital Age. EduSummIT was organized by UNESCO (along with other partners) and brought together over 120 scholars, policy makers from over 40 countries. I was part of a Thematic Focus Group emphasizing 21st century learning. It took two years but finally a special issue of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning is out with 8 articles all emerging from the conference. Click here for the table of contents.

I am co-author on one article along with Joke Voogt from the University of Twente, Ola Erstad from University of Oslo, and Chris Dede from Harvard. Our article focuses on 21st Century competencies that are needed to be able to live in and contribute to our current (and future) society. A complete reference, abstract and a link to the pdf is given below:

Voogt, J., Erstad, O., Dede, C., & Mishra, P. (2013). Challenges to learning and schooling in the digital networked world of the 21st centuryJournal of Computer Assisted Learning29(5), 403–413. « Read the rest of this entry »

Seeing mathematics everywhere…

September 7, 2013 § 2 Comments

ollernshawDame Kathleen Ollernshaw was deaf since the age of 8. Despite this she had an amazing life as a mathematician, amateur astronomer, politician (she served as mayor of Manchester as well as in the Thatcher administration) and mother. To learn more about her read this story on the Scientific American website, titled Centenarian Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw—Conqueror of Magic Squares, Rubik’s Cube and Mauna Kea. People with diverse interests like this always fascinate me (maybe it is because I am that way as well – though clearly not at the level of Dame Ollernshaw). You should read the article in full but I am highlighting some quotes that stood out for me. « Read the rest of this entry »

A NEW definition of creativity: Next article in series

August 27, 2013 § 1 Comment

Creativity AmbigramThe latest in our series Rethinking Technology and Creativity in the 21st Century is now available. The article was co-authored with Danah Henriksen (and the Deep-Play Research Group) and it titled: A NEW approach to defining and measuring creativity. In this article we seek to provide a definition of creativity, and in turn offer an example of an ongoing research project in which this definition is being used to develop rubrics for evaluating the products of the creative process. Here is a link to the full article

Mishra, P., Henriksen, D., & the Deep-Play Research Group (2013). A NEW approach to defining and measuring creativity. Tech Trends (57) 5, p. 5-13. 

Here is a key quote from the article: « Read the rest of this entry »

TPACK Game On (or Precocious us)

August 25, 2013 § Leave a Comment


I just discovered that Learning & Leading with Technology had an article, back in 2010, about the TPACK game. The TPACK game is something Matt, Judi Harris and I had come up with for the National Technology Leadership Summit in Washington DC, back in 2007. Matt has even created an online version, something I had blogged about previously here. Anyway, the article by Karen Richardson describes the game in some detail (see here for a PDF of the entire issue – then scroll down to page 34 for the actual article: TPACK Game On). What was interesting was that in the introduction Karen credits two of us (Punya & Matt) as first proposing the TPACK framework back in 2006, (and this is the interesting part) when we were “graduate students at Michigan State University” (see snippet above).  I wish that were the case! The fact of the matter is that we were both faculty members at MSU at that time. We were young(er) back then but were surely not graduate students! A small (funny) error in what is otherwise a fine introduction to the TPACK framework and game. Incidentally the TPACK game has now made its way into the workshops created for Microsoft’s TEI initiative.

White paper on TPACK

August 24, 2013 § 1 Comment


The Commonwealth Educational Media Center for Asia (CEMCA) recently published a report on ICT Integrated Teacher Education Models. One of the pieces in the report was by us. Here it is below: « Read the rest of this entry »

26 years ago… My first publication!

August 22, 2013 § Leave a Comment

AllfalldownBack in 1986, Anand Narasimhan and I wrote a short story titled “We all fall down,” that was published the popular-science magazine Science Today. Science Today, edited by Mukul Sharma who wrote science fiction himself, was maybe the only outlet where you could publish science fiction. Anyway, the story was published in the August 1987 issue of the magazine.

I had forgotten about it completely but I know I had scanned it years ago – so I wouldn’t have to hang on to the paper version. Of course I didn’t have a clue as to where the pdf was, what I had named it etc. etc. An hour or so of digging around on my computer I did locate it… reading through it after so many years was kinda fun. And then I discovered something interesting.

« Read the rest of this entry »

The search for pattern, beauty & intelligent life…

August 22, 2013 § 1 Comment

Connecting birds nests to “crop circles under the ocean” leading to some thoughts on perception, beauty and finding intelligent life in the universe (or maybe even on this planet).

The other day I found a bird’s nest on my front lawn. Most probably it had fallen down from the tree above. Here it is. It is a tiny thing. One regular egg would fit snugly in it.

nest « Read the rest of this entry »

Speaking of leadership

August 9, 2013 § 1 Comment

Matt and I were invited to Sydney, Australia a year ago as a part of the Teaching Teachers for the Future (TTF) project. You can see a report in the New Educator: TPACK takes hold in Australia. As a part of this visit we were interviewed to speak a bit about leadership. I just found the video online… so for the record, here it is. Enjoy (or not).

« Read the rest of this entry »