New webinar on TPACK

November 1, 2014 § 1 Comment


Matt Koehler and I recently participated on a webinar titled Teachers as Designers of Technology, Pedagogy, and Content (TPACK) organized by and Commonsense Education. We had over 200+ viewers from all over the world (New Zeeland, Israel, Morroco, Canada being some of the countries represented). The webinar was quite fun and you can view it in its entirety here

Help with research (max 10 mins). Please share

October 23, 2014 § Leave a Comment


This is a request for help. If you are an educator (K12 teacher or administrator, higher ed faculty, corporate trainer etc.) we would like approximately 10 minutes of your time to complete a survey regarding the challenges faced by educators in the 21st century and the kinds of knowledge and/or skills needed to face these challenges. The survey should not take more than 8-12 minutes of your time to complete. Your responses will be confidential and fully anonymous. Your participation is voluntary, though we sincerely hope you will respond. Click on the link below to access the survey.

Also, we would appreciate your forwarding this message to others. Here is a handy tweet you can copy and paste on to your twitter feed or Facebook post if you like

Please complete this survey on 21st century learning Thank you @punyamishra

Thank you very much for considering this request and please contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you, Chile!

October 14, 2014 § Leave a Comment



I spent the past seven days in Chile, six days in Santiago and one in Valpariso. It was absolutely wonderful. My trip was sponsored by the Faculty of Education at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC is one of the nation’s premier universities), as well as support from the Enlaces project of the Ministry of Education and UNESCO.  This trip builds on a memorandum of understanding recently signed between MSU and PUC and focused on the role of ICT in education.

A lot happened during the week – here is my attempt to capture some of the highlights.
« Read the rest of this entry »

Abstracting as a trans-disciplinary habit of mind

October 13, 2014 § Leave a Comment

The next article on our series on Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century has just been published. The past few articles have focused specifically on trans-disciplinary thinking i.e. a set of cognitive skills that cut across disciplinary boundaries. Building on Michele & Robert Root-Bernstein’s work in this area we list seven trans-disciplinary “tools for thinking” that we argue are key to creativity. These skills encapsulate the ways in which creative people, across disciplines, think. Our previous articles have looked at Perceiving, and Patterning. This one focuses on Abstracting. Future pieces will look at Embodied Thinking, Modeling, Play, and Synthesizing. Below is a link to the latest article (you can see all the articles in the series by going here.

Henriksen, D., Fahnoe, C., & Mishra, P. & the Deep-Play Research Group (in press). Abstracting as a trans-disciplinary habit of mind. Tech Trends (58)6. p. 3-7

Photo: Graffiti in Valpariso, Chile, October 2014.

International Coffee Day (new ambigram)

September 30, 2014 § 1 Comment

Yesterday was International Coffee Day. In celebration (one day late but hey… ) here is a new ambigram for coffee. Enjoy.





21st century learning, TPACK and other fun stuff

September 29, 2014 § Leave a Comment


I have been invited to participate in the 2014 Educational Technology Summit: Empowering Educators to Enhance Student Learning in the Digital Era. This conference is being organized by Common Sense MediaAnnenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, & the LEAD Commission. I am serving on a panel on preparing new teachers, moderated by Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post. Other members on the panel are Daniel Soodjinda, Ed.D., from the California State University Stanislaus, and Deborah Stipek, dean, Stanford Graduate School of Education. It is going to be a packed and exciting day (see the schedule for yourself and if you are so inclined, you can actually watch the proceedings streamed live).


On this page I just wanted to list some resources that I think will come up during our discussion (that’s me being proactive, you see).  « Read the rest of this entry »

TPACK Newsletter #21: September 2014

September 24, 2014 § Leave a Comment


TPACK Newsletter, Issue #21 (September, 2014)

Welcome to the twenty-first 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 one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching—Aristotle

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. 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 »

A decade of running, some thanks

September 22, 2014 § 5 Comments


Ten years ago I participated in my first formal race. It was the 2004 Capital City River Run and back then it was a 10 mile run. Today (September 20, 2014), I ran my 11th race, the 2014 Capital City River Run – now a half marathon.

It has been a decade of running.

In this decade (technically a decade plus 1) I have run 11 races, averaging one per year – 3 ten-mile races and 8 half-marathons. Not bad for a person who does not consider himself a runner. The photo above is all the participation medals I have collected!

Running does not come easy to me and moreover I am not very good at it. And nor do I take it seriously, as evidenced by my idiosyncratic training schedule, where where family, work and travel (and pretty much everything else) take priority over running.

But over the past decade (plus 1) I have done one thing. I have signed up for the Capital City River Run and I participate. The goal have never been to win medals (not that I was ever in contention for any) and oftentimes the goal is not even to get a PR. The goal is to show up at the start, keep running till I finish.

Clearly despite my lack of talent and seriousness I did manage to run these 11 races. It is important for me to acknowledge the fact that this would not have been possible without a few key individuals, and that these people deserve my thanks, and this, 10 years into the process, is as good a time as any to do so.

« Read the rest of this entry »

The blame (& praise) game continues

September 18, 2014 § 1 Comment

I have shared earlier a design for a reflection ambigram for the two words “praise” and “blame” – where one word becomes another when reflected in a mirror. In fact the design has been printed in 3D. As it turns out this was a design that I had made many years ago – and was for the most part, I was satisfied with it. Yes the “s” was a bit iffy – but hey, it worked. Here is the old design:

Praise Blame


But in the process of cleaning it up to give to Jon Good to print – I was more and more bothered by it, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with a new design. Overall the solution is the same – or at least shares the same skeletal structure – but the overall result is much better, and far more readable this time around. Enjoy.



This is part of the reason I love creating ambigrams. Letterforms are subtle, nuanced and rich arenas of exploration, and they never cease to surprise me even today, after so many years of playing with them.

Praise-blame ambigram in 3D

September 17, 2014 § Leave a Comment

Jon Good has been playing around with some new 3D printers we just bought and this is what he printed for me – a 3-D version of the “praise-blame” ambigram (click here for the 2-D version). How cool is that!

So what you are seeing in the top half is the printed artifact and below it is its reflection. You can click the button below to animate the image…

Praise Blame


Robert Frost writes a paper

September 16, 2014 § Leave a Comment


First it was Lewis Carroll and Jabberwocky and now it is Robert Frost and his poem Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening that receives the EPET treatment. Here is poem #2 in our series of famous poems rewritten from a graduate school perspective.

Thanks to Diana Campbell for following up a brief conversation at a party with a great first draft. Danah Henriksen and I jumped in and put in our two cents as and when not needed. Without further ado, here is:  Stopping by the college on a snowy evening « Read the rest of this entry »

Ambigrams animated: 3 new designs

September 15, 2014 § Leave a Comment

I love creating ambigrams, words written in such a manner that they can be read from multiple perspective – rotated, reflected and so on. These designs are much easier to “grasp” when printed on paper since you can actually turn the paper around, hold it against a mirror or hold it against the light while looking at it from the other side. All that is harder to do on a webpage. So I have been thinking of ways of making the entire process a bit more interactive (sort of what John Langdon does so neatly on his site). So after poking around with css and javascript and WordPress I think I finally have a solution. So below are three designs (for the words “internet,” “Angel” and the word-pair “Praise-Blame” that you can actually rotate by 180 degrees and and reflect (in two different ways, along the x and y axes) to bring out the symmetry or the surprise inherent in the designs. Here they are below:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Jabberwocky goes to graduate school

September 9, 2014 § Leave a Comment


The 5th floor of Erickson Hall is a fun place to be. Typically a bunch of graduate students hang out there, working on their readings, talking shop and in general having a good time. For some reason, last week, I promised Josh Rosenberg that I would write a poem for them. I don’t know why I promised this… I just did. So now that I had said it, it had to be done.

So I wrote a poem building from one my favorite poems of all time, Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. It wasn’t the greatest thing but hey, whatever. I shared the draft with others and asked for suggestions to help make it better. And all hell broke loose. Suggestions came from left and right, via email and conversations in passing. And at each step the poem became richer, more consistent, better connected to the original…

So here is Blabberjocky, on the fifth… a poem that ended up becoming something greater than the sum of the individual contributions. A special shout out to Danah Henriksen, Spencer Greenhalgh, and Andrea Zellner for their help. Since the first version was prompted by an unsolicited promise made to Josh Rosenberg, it is clear that a large part of the blame for this poem being inflicted in the world lies with him.

Here it is:

« Read the rest of this entry »

International Literacy Day, new ambigram

September 8, 2014 § Leave a Comment


In celebration of International Literacy Day, here is a new ambigram design – it reads, “Literacy” one way and “Reading” the other! Enjoy. See below for an attempt to use CSS to use to make the rotation automatic when you move your cursor over the image. Check it out. I think it is pretty cool.






Happy Teacher’s Day (new ambigrams)

September 5, 2014 § Leave a Comment

September 5 is Teacher’s Day in India. It is celebrated on the birthdate of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Indian philosopher and statesman who was also the first Vice-President and the second President of India. He famously said, “teachers should be the best minds in the country.” To celebrate this day, here are three new ambigram designs (see image below). The first, goes around the circle, reading “teacher” one way and “learner” the other way. You can read these words from left to right starting from the top OR the bottom. In the center are two new designs where the word “teacher” and “learner” map onto themselves (when rotated 180 degrees). Enjoy. (Note, you can click on the graphic to view a larger version).

And yes, Happy Teacher’s Day to all my educator friends!!! (Move your mouse over the image to rotate it!)




There is no app for that

September 4, 2014 § Leave a Comment

noappforthat has a new article titled—There’s no app for good teaching: 8 ways to think about tech in ways that actually improve the classroom. It quotes a bunch of scholars and researchers, one of whom is yours truly. I am just posting this, for the record.

Image created by Punya Mishra, using


Technology in schools: Detroit Free Press & Edutopia

September 2, 2014 § 1 Comment


For the record, I was quoted in today’s Detroit Free Press in an article titled: School districts expanding technology, but training is key to success. In addition, two of my partners in crime (Matt Koehler & Candace Marcotte) were mentioned in an Edutopia article titled: How to Integrate Tech When It Keeps Changing. The idea of TPACK connects both articles, though the Free Press article does not mention the idea directly.

Image created by Punya Mishra using

Soham starts college, new ambigram,

August 26, 2014 § 1 Comment

We dropped off my eldest at the University of Michigan today. He begins the next stage of his life. We couldn’t be more excited. Here is a new ambigram design to mark this occasion. Soham whichever way you look at it, with UMich colors! Mouseover the image to rotate it and enjoy.




Art is a lie… that tells the truth

August 25, 2014 § Leave a Comment

Picasso famously said, “Art is a lie that tells the truth.” This design below is my attempt to represent this quote – at least the first part of the quote. Move your mouse over the image to see a change…

You can see the combined image below
« Read the rest of this entry »

Why math ed sucks (not just in India)

August 22, 2014 § 3 Comments


My friend Hartosh Bal (author of A Certain Ambiguity, a mathematical novel) has a piece in Caravan Magazine titled “Why Fields medalists are unlikely to emerge from the Indian educational system.” He mentions the fact that of the three winners of the Field’s medal (the highest accolade in mathematics) are Brazilian, Iranian and Canadian respectively. The Canadian, Manjul Bhargava, however is of Indian origin and, it appears that the Indian media have “rushed to claim him as India’s own.” As the title of his article suggests, Hartosh uses the fact that Bharghava was not educated in India, as a starting point for a broader discussion of how the manner in which mathematics is taught in India. He makes some wonderful points and I would recommend reading his entire piece.

The only quibble I have with his argument is that (as indicated by the title of my post) is that the problems he identifies with mathematics education are not limited to just India. Similar issues (such as an instrumental approach towards learning mathematics, focus on rote memorization of rules etc.) exist right here in the US as well. As Hartosh writes:

We believe students learn only at one pace, and even more damagingly in the case of mathematics, in only one way. Far too many parents in this country have told me about their children being penalised in tests for solving a mathematics problem by a method other than the one taught in the class. It should be quite the contrary, a student who correctly solves a problem by innovatively thinking her way to a solution deserves more marks rather than less. 

I love that last sentence.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Here we go again, the recurring cycle of hype and despair around ed tech

August 20, 2014 § 3 Comments


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana (1905, p. 284)

The Atlantic has an article titled “Why tech still hasn’t solved education’s problems” focusing on the failed promise of MOOCs and asks the question

Why has the promised boom in educational technology failed to appear—and why was the technology that did appear not very good? 

And my response to that question is … here we go again!!!

The history of ed tech is littered with stories of how the advent of a new technology (and its potential for learning) leads to a significant level of hype about how it would transform education and then when these extravagant promises were not met, leading to an inevitable conclusion of the uselessness of all technology.

I have written about this so often that I don’t even know where to start. But again that has never stopped me!

« Read the rest of this entry »

Vijay Iyer, polymath & a fantastic example of trans-disciplinary creativity

August 17, 2014 § Leave a Comment


Vijay Iyer,  ( is an Indian-American jazz pianist and composer. He is a MacArthur Genius grant winner and is currently Franklin and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University and is widely regarded as being one of the most innovative composers and musicians today. His music transcends national boundaries through creatively bringing together traditional jazz, Indian classical fusion, and various other musical styles.

Mr. Iyer is a true polymath whose career has spanned mathematics, science, the humanities and the arts. According to his Wikipedia page, he has an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics from Yale. He then went on to pursue a doctorate in physics but dropped that to complete an interdisciplinary doctoral in Technology and the Arts focusing on music cognition. In his dissertation he applied the ideas of situated and embodied cognition to West African and African-American music.

I found out about Vijay Iyer recently and was immediately struck by how he is an almost perfect example of the kind of polymathy we (in the deep-play research group) have been describing in our research and scholarship around creativity and trans-disciplinary learning. Below are some excerpts from interviews that match up to the work we have been doing.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Innovation in hybrid/blended doctoral courses (new article)

August 17, 2014 § Leave a Comment

The July 2014 issue of Tech Trends has two articles co-authored by me. The first is part of our ongoing series of articles on Rethinking technology and creativity in the 21st century (you can find the more recent article here and the complete series here). The other article was part of a special issue devoted to online/hybrid doctoral programs, edited by Kara Dawson and Swapna Kumar. Essentially we argue that:
« Read the rest of this entry »

Good-Evil ambigram makes the cover of a German Magazine

August 17, 2014 § Leave a Comment

My Good-Evil ambigram made it to the cover of Screen Guidea special interest magazine for web-developers! Here it is for the record.


Perceiving & Patterning as skills essential for creativity (2 new articles)

August 17, 2014 § Leave a Comment

We have been writing a series of articles for Tech Trends titled Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century. You can see the full list here.

One of the key focus areas of these articles is on what we call trans-disciplinary thinking i.e. a set of cognitive skills that cut across disciplinary boundaries. As Michele & Robert Root-Bernstein’s write in their book Sparks of Genius:

…at the level of the creative process, scientists, artists, mathematicians, composers, writers, and sculptors use…what we call “tools for thinking,” including emotional feelings, visual images, bodily sensations, reproducible patterns, and analogies. And all imaginative thinkers learn to translate ideas generated by these subjective thinking tools into public languages to express their insights, which can then give rise to new ideas in others’ minds. (pg. 11)

Inspired in part by the Root-Bernstein’s we have analyzed and listed seven such “tools for thinking” as being key trans-disciplinary skills needed for creativity. These skills encapsulate the ways in which creative people and effective learners think. They include, Perceiving, Patterning, Abstracting, Embodied Thinking, Modeling, Play, and Synthesizing.  The next seven articles in the series will focus on each of these thinking skills.

The first two articles in the series, focusing on Perceiving and Patterning are now published. Complete references and links to pdfs of the articles are given below

The next article in the series will focus on Abstracting and is currently in press, and I will post it once it is published.

  • Henriksen, D., Fahnoe, C., & Mishra, P.  & the Deep-Play Research Group (in press). Abstracting as a trans-disciplinary habit of mind. Tech Trends (58)6.

MAET Words: 123 creators – 1 cool video

August 13, 2014 § Leave a Comment

This summer over 120 educators met in three different locations both here in the US and overseas, as a part of the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program hybrid classes. The video below, visualizing a quote by Steve Jobs, was created by all of us – one word at a time! The students and instructors featured here are as follows: The first cohort of the MSU-Wipro STEM & Leadership Fellows (in Chicago); three cohorts in the MAET Overseas program (in Galway, Ireland); two cohorts in the MAET East Lansing and MAET Certificate program (in East Lansing MI).

Each word was visualized by a different person, in their own way… but these diverse representations fit together to form a coherent, integrated and powerful message. How cool is that and what an awesome representation of the unity in diversity of the MAET program.

Thanks Wipro & Microsoft

August 10, 2014 § Leave a Comment


#MSUrbanSTEM Thanks Wipro!


#MSUrbanSTEM Thanks Microsoft

Over this past summer I have had one of the best teaching/learning experiences of my career. Through a project funded by Wipro (and with support from Microsoft) we have the opportunity to work with 125 teachers in the Chicago Public Schools over the next three years. Wipro offered a grant of 2.8 million dollars to cover the cost of the grant. Thanks to Anurag Behar of Wipro for all his support. Microsoft sponsored Surface 2 Pro devices for all our teachers. A special shout out to Jim Ptaszynski at Microsoft Higher Education for his support in making this happen for raising the possibility of extending this over the next two years as well. I had not worked with a Surface Pro before – but I am impressed. These devices hit the sweet spot between portability and power, work and play and our teachers love them.

Our teachers posed for a couple of group photos to thank Wipro and Microsoft for their support. (You can click on the images to see hi-res versions of the photos). You can find out more about this project by going to or by following #MSUrbanSTEM on twitter.

Self-similarity in math & ambigrams, article 3 in series

August 8, 2014 § Leave a Comment

Self-similarity in geometry is the idea of repeating a similar shape (often at a different scale) over and over again. In other words, a self-similar image contains copies of itself at smaller and smaller scales, such as the image below of the word “zoom.”


Self-similarity is a rich mathematical idea and connects to other powerful concepts such as infinity, iteration, fractals, recursion and so on. As it turns out self-similarity is also a rich source of ambigrams. This is why the third article in the series Of Art & Math is devoted to Self-Similarity. This series written with my friend Gaurav Bhatnagar is published by At Right Angles (a mathematics education magazine). 

« Read the rest of this entry »

Having fun with TPACK (songs, skits & more…)

August 7, 2014 § Leave a Comment

A search on YouTube reveals a wide range of videos related to TPACK. Most of them are serious descriptions of the framework (heck, I have created a few of those myself).  But there is a smaller genre of TPACK videos that don’t necessarily seek to explain the construct. They are just good fun.There are songs and skits and things in between. Here are a few that I managed to find. Most of these were created by students in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program. « Read the rest of this entry »

A couple of images… (for the heck of it)

August 6, 2014 § Leave a Comment

Here are two images I created recently…

August is the 8th month, so here is a little design to celebrate that fact!


I had no particular reason to create this… but then again why let that get in the way of doing something… anything!

The next is an image based on a quote by Albert Camus, from his book/essay The myth of Sisyphus.  « Read the rest of this entry »

  • Recent comments

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta