New publication: Using TPACK to Analyze Technological Understanding in Teachers’ Digital Teaching Portfolios

Over the past four years, I’ve participated in research projects on a few different topics, but most of them can be grouped into the broad category of “digital educational research.” As I like to put it, this involves exploring how digital technologies afford not only new spaces for teaching and learning but also new ways …

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Asking for a Skeptic Friend

I sometimes get email from people asking, in one way or another, whether our long-term evolution experiment (LTEE) with E. coli provides evidence of evolution writ large – new species, new information, or something of that sort. I try to answer these questions by providing some examples of what we’ve seen change, and by putting …

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Preparing Teachers for Middle School

Teachers must be prepared for the additional challenges of middle school. Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks. Middle school is a challenging time for young people. Adolescents straddle the line between childhood and adulthood, struggling to assert their independence and form their identities while also still relying on parents and other adults. The brains of middle school …

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Is Educational Technology a Discipline? Let’s talk.

Yesterday this tweet: Follow Erin Kae @Erin11Kae Why It’s Time for Education Technology to Become an Academic Discipline — Campus Technology https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/09/19/why-its-time-for-education-technology-to-become-an-academic-discipline.aspx … #MSUepet 9:54 PM – 25 Sep 2016 Retweets 44 likes Prompted this brief twitter conversation (click on the timestamp to see the conversation): Follow Carmen Richardson @edtechcarmen The “process of teaching needs to …

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Good teaching is good design

I just came across Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design and was immediately struck by how closely they paralleled what is essential for good teaching. All one has to do is replace the word “design” with “teaching” and I think we get 10 pretty good principles to follow (or think about). This is a game I have …

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Tightrope Walking in Heels

We’ve just finished hosting a Quantitative Biology Workshop at Spelman to attract our Atlanta-area colleagues and bring a few collaborators in town. In about a week, I’ll be at NSF for a panel. Somehow, I’m also moving in the midst of this… In trying to have some strategy so that I’ve got everything I need to …

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Decision Analytics and Teacher Qualifications

Disclaimers: This a post about statistics versus decision analytics, not a prescription for improving the educational system in the United States (or anywhere else, for that matter). tl;dr. The genesis of today’s post is a blog entry I read on Spartan Ideas titled “Is Michigan Turning Away Good Teachers?” (Spartan Ideas is a “metablog”, curated …

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Info Lit Summit 2015: What’s the Big Idea?! Incorporating Threshold Concepts into Your Teaching Practice

I attended the 14th Annual Information Literacy Summit this past week and heard an excellent keynote from Amy R. Hofer, Silvia Lu, and Lori Townsend. (A link to the keynote will be posted here when available). Some of the key ideas from the presentation were: Conceptual teaching is increasingly important because information doesn’t just live …

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The Experiment Continues

This past week was a big week at Michigan State University. The libraries were full of students, there was an energy in the air despite the single-digit temperatures, and everyone seemed a little bit perkier than they have been for the past frigid month. It is the middle of the semester, which meant that we …

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Women in Weed Science article

-E. Hill Today the Weed Science Society of America released an article about women in weed science, which is particularly relevant since there are two women professors in weed science here at Michigan State University along with two staff members and several graduate students trained in the discipline. Please take time to read the article at …

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The Things We Carry

Rich, Bob Dylan, Cheryl Strayed, Dream of a Common Language, Ezra Pound, Michigan State University, power, teaching, voice, Wild |Leave a comment Class assignment: Take an inventory of your bag, pick three telling items, and let them tell. 1. Pencil In the back pocket, a green Michigan State University pencil, sharpened at a steep angle, …

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Eppur Si Muove

Over the break, I watched a couple of episodes of The West Wing including one about political attacks on science called Eppur Si Muove. It reminded me – a lot – of an experience that I had 20 years ago, back in 1995. As in that episode, I received a phone call while at work that began …

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Feynman Lectures: Epilogue

The full text of The Feynman Lectures is now available online. These lectures were originally delivered to satisfy the physics requirement for first and second year students at Caltech. Legend has it that as the lectures went on, fewer and fewer undergraduates were seen in attendance, with their places taken by graduate students and even members …

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Java Gotchas

I was writing what should have been (and, in the end, was) a very simple Java program yesterday. It wound up taking considerably longer than it should have, due to my tripping over two “gotchas”, which I will document here for my own benefit (the next time I trip over them). Issue 1: Importing from …

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Happy Teacher’s Day (new ambigrams)

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). …

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There is no app for that

Ideas.TED.com 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 https://imgflip.com/memegenerator Tweet