A fruit salad is a fruit salad – TPACK

I had a blast with this week’s TPACK activity! Prior to CEP810, I had never heard of TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge). Since this was new to me, I made it a point to watch Dr. Mishra’s Keynote presentation at the 21st Century Learning Conference in Hong Kong in 2012 before even starting the activity. Dr. Mishra describes TPACK as a “total package” where technology, pedagogy, and content are integrated, not separate. I watched this on my iPad while exercising on the treadmill because after all, “a lecture is a lecture” (Explore, Create, Share Mashup) regardless if you’re reading it on paper, hearing it spoken, or watching it on a mobile device. Right?

For this week’s assignment, Cooking with TPACK, we were to have someone randomly choose a bowl, plate, and utensil from our cupboards and then select a cooking task from a predetermined list by randomly drawing a number from a hat (a bowl in my case) that corresponded to an item on the list. I had a friend of mine randomly choose a bowl, plate, and utensil from my cupboards and I drew the #3 item on the list–fruit salad here I come! I was thrilled with this random selection because I always have a supply of organic fruit on hand so I used a banana and an apple for this activity.

The following were randomly selected for me:

  • A small, ceramic-type bowl
  • A paper plate
  • An ice cream scoop

The paper plate was repurposed as a cutting board, the ice cream scoop was repurposed as a knife and a peeler, and the bowl didn’t need repurposing because in this case it was being used exactly what it was designed for.

Watch repurposing in action as I create a fruit salad!


PLNs using Popplet

I have never heard of the web-based tool called Popplet until it was introduced this week in CEP810. Popplet allows you to visualize ideas in a graphical way –  excellent for mind mapping! You can export or share your Popplet with others or simply save if for your own personal use. Very cool and useful tool! The focus was to examine Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) and use Popplet to visually create our current PLN.

Current PLN created using Popplet

Going through this exercise, I realized the amount of web-based resources that are an integral part of my current PLN (over half of  my PLN is web-based). I now teach 100% online, so the social media and online learning portions of my PLN fit nicely into what I teach (web programming) and also allows me to stay current with what’s going on in the industry in a convenient and flexible way. I refer to a lot of YouTube and online learning resources within the courses that I teach, as well as using many of the same resources for my professional development and assignment/project ideas which I can in turn incorporate into my courses. In fact, just this week I was listening to a Podcast from the “A Responsive Web Design Podcast” website while at school working on course development.

I have expanded my PLN to include my MSU peers since starting the MAET program at MSU, which will complement the industry connections that I have built and maintained while working in the corporate world for over 16 years. I continue to be amazed at the wealth of knowledge available at our fingertips and to be able to share, collaborate, learn, and connect with experts and peers in the industry, is so incredibly awesome!


Learning with Novices & Experts

During the first week of class in CEP 810 at Michigan State University, I was asked to write an essay based on my reading and understanding of Bransford, Brown & Cocking’s (2000) How People Learn. The Learning with Novices and Experts essay can be found and responds to two key questions:

  1. What is learning?
  2. How do the learning processes of experts and novices differ?

I reflect on the definition of learning and the differences between novice and expert students and how each can complement each other’s learning which in turn, can alter their perceived way of entering into a situation based on their understanding of new ideas. I hope you find my reflection on the topic interesting and I openly welcome comments and feedback. Enjoy!