CEP 812: Passion Quotient (P.Q.) and Curiosity Quotient (C.Q.)

In the last week of CEP 812 we were asked to reflect on an article published in the New York Times by Thomas L. Friedman that discussed the importance of passion and curiosity within both the students and teacher in the classroom. Friedman (2013) states that, “The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.” In order to be successful in today’s society one must be tech savvy, explorative, creative and most of all innovative.

As a teacher I have always felt that I needed to posses passion and creativity in my teaching. However, after completing three CEP courses, I now understand that I need to instill these two beliefs in both my students and colleagues. Passion and curiosity are traits that will assist students to become collaborative, reflective, innovative, problem solving and critically thinking students. Forget about drill and practice, embrace technology, pedagogy, content, and knowledge (TPACK).

Watch my interpretation of of how P.Q. and C.Q. should be incorporated for both students and teachers using PowToon.

(The best view is full screen.)

After 8 months of studying technology and fun, I have finally completed my Certificate in Educational Technology from Michigan State Unviersity. My next step is to complete my Masters in Educational Technology, but I am proud of how far I have made it and how much I have learned. Stay tuned for more!


Friedman, T. (2013, January 29). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as much as I.Q. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/friedman-its-pq-and-cq-as-much-as-iq.html

Mishra, Dr. Punya. (2012, March 26). Punya Mishra – Keynote Speaker @ 21st Century Learning Conference – Hong Kong 2012 (Video File). Retrieved From https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=698&v=9bwXYa91fvQ

References for Photos in PowToon:

Dinda, J. (2007, April 3). Sparty. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparty#/media/File:Sparty.jpg

Friedman, T. (2013, January 29). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/friedman-its-pq-and-cq-as-much-as-iq.html?_r=0

Fryer, W. (2014, January 16). Students record a Radio Show with AudioBoo. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/12079947126/

Kumar, P. (2008, June 3). Happy child with painted hands. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/75362274@N05/7648249140

Llennon. (2012, March 2). Used with reference to TPACK. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tpack.jpg

Ribeiro, L. (2008, June 30). Children at school. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/lupuca/8720604364

Spanish, C. (2015, February 15). Enrich your communication-based classroom with supplementary materials. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from http://blog.calicospanish.com/2015/02/23/enrich-communication-based-classroom-supplementary-materials.html

The interactive whiteboard is an example of computers replacing traditional classroom technology. (2007, March 18). Retrieved August 19, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computers_in_the_classroom#/media/File:Interactive_whiteboard_at_CeBIT_2007.jpg

Wonderworks, W. (2008, November 18). Karo palmolive wesson = messy science fun. Retrieved August 19, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/3058182308


CEP 812: Wicked Problem – Failure as a Mode of Learning

John Merrow, an education reporter that began working with the National Public Radio in 1974 states that, “Students need to know that adults try and fail and fail and fail — and keep on trying. More than that, they need to experience failure” (2015)” People face difficulties everyday that challenges them to think critically in order to solve problems Sometimes those difficulties can only be solved after a few failures and then a final solution is found. Although most would view failure in a negative context, others would argue that failure is a way to learn new concepts. In 2015, the New Horizon Project Summit Communiqué considered, “allowing failure to be as powerful a learning mode as success” a wicked problem in education.

The wicked problem of using failure as a learning mode cannot be solved with a single solution. Using failure as a learning tool is something that can be effectively achieved by intentionally tapping into certain aspects of failure. By implementing a pedagogy that pulls ideas from the scientific model students will engage in a more thorough learning process. 

The idea of failure is learned at an early age because of all the new things children try.  Riding a bike, tying a shoe, or hitting a baseball are just a few examples of learning through failure. If children are used to failure, why do schools create such negativity towards learning through failure? How can teachers create an environment where failure is accepted and help students learn more?

Find out why we think using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is one solution to this problem. Read this collaborative paper about Failing in order to learn here.



Merrow, J. (2015, May 27). Why failure is crucial for a student’s success. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/failure-crucial-students-success/

(2015 NMC Horizon Project Summit Communiqué) Definition The New Media Consortium, 2013  page 1

Photo Credit:

Geral, T. (2014). Free Image on Pixabay – Success, Failure, Street Sign. Retrieved August 15, 2015, from https://pixabay.com/en/success-failure-street-sign-shield-259710/

CEP 812: InfoDiet Revision

James Paul Gee talks about affinity spaces which are “often sites on the internet and contribute in many different ways, large or small, with different people for different reasons” (2013, Ch. 20, para. 12). The internet is a space where people can share, learn and gather together about a particular interest. Information can be found digitally by a simple click of a button. However, Eli Pariser (2011) warns us that we need to read information outside our “filter bubble” in order to expand our thinking and balance the information we are taking in.

So what is my current InfoDiet? My usual affinity spaces include Pinterest, TeachersPayTeachers, Google search and Twitter. As much as I would like to say I have a balanced InfoDiet, I certainly do not. In order to revise my InfoDiet, I branched out beyond my usual sources of information. To begin my revision, I simply used Google and searched for a topic that is completely opposite of what I usually research for my classes.

#1: The Atlantic

I chose this source because there are many articles by Kentaro Toyama that contradict my current views about using technology in the classroom. Toyama, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, wrote an article called, Why Technology alone won’t fix schools. I was surprised at how much I nodded my head in agreement with his views as I read. His final statement, “If tech-industry parents are right about their children, then what the U.S. education system needs above all isn’t more technology, but a deliberate allocation of high-quality adult supervision focused on those who need it most” (Toyama, 2015). Even though I strive to use technology in my classroom on a daily basis, I agreed with Toyama in that human interaction is powerful.

#2: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

I first read an article by this association that outlined the best use of technology for children up to age 8. Although it was very interesting, I found something even more helpful on their main website. I was happy to see how much relevant information was available for the age group I currently teach through the site’s twitter handle (@NAEYC). I also began to think about sharing this source with my class parents. I am currently following NAEYC on twitter and will pass along useful tips to my parents this year!

#3: Digital Commons @ Brockport

A colleague of mine is against using Raz Kids, an online reading program. She feels it doesn’t support reading development appropriately and doesn’t align with the Developmental Reading Assessments (DRA), an assessment of a child’s reading capabilities. I found a thesis by Jennifer M. Mackmin comparing the two programs. Mackmin’s study concluded that, “…five out of ten students were provided with texts from Raz Kids program that were several levels above or below that the student should be instructed at according the DRA” (p. 28). From this new perspective, I am currently rethinking the use of this program for this upcoming year and how I can align the program with a student’s DRA level.  I am looking forward to having another area to research beyond MSU’s library.

Throughout the week I continued to visit each resource and I will continue to research affinity spaces beyond my usual sites. I realized it’s more interesting and insightful to educate yourself in an opposite view instead of just researching agreeable information. Although I didn’t agree with everything I read, I learned a lot and, because of that, I can begin to back up my opinions and realize that my views may not be correct.



Gee, J. P. (2013). The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning. [Kindle]. Retrieved from http://amazon.com.

Rozkosz, E. (2011, August 2). Information Literacy. Retrieved August 9, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/erozkosz/6002995338

Mackmim, J. (2010, January 18). How Does the Assessment Information Gained From the Literacy Software Program Raz Kids Compare to the DRA Assessment Information? Retrieved August 5, 2015.

Pariser, E. (2011, March 1). Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles” Retrieved August 8, 2015, from http://youtu.be/B8ofWFx525s

Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8. (2012). Retrieved August 5, 2015, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PS_technology_WEB2.pdf

Toyama, K. (2015, June 3). Why Technology Alone Won’t Fix Schools. Retrieved August 5, 2015.

CEP 812: Integrating Technology Survey and Analysis

As a 21st century teacher we are required to use innovative technology in the classroom to enhance student learning. In CEP 812, I was asked to create a survey that would allow me to collect information about how my colleagues integrate technology into their everyday teaching. My survey was sent to teachers, administrators and supp
ort staff at an American international school in Dubai. The survey focused on these three

  1. What is your current use of technology?
  2. How has technology affected your teaching (positively or negatively)?
  3. What useful professional development for technology would you like to have and how would you like to improve your use of technology in the classroom?

In this analysis I will provide data to help answer the 3 focus questions and solve the wicked problem of rethinking teaching. Both the results and my analysis were sent back to the participants for their reference as well.

You can find the survey here.

*Follow up survey here.6306132745_347e21a6e8_o

You can view the results of the survey here.

*Follow up survey results here.

You can read my analysis here.


File:Online Survey Icon or logo.svg. (2014, July 25). Retrieved August 2, 2015, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Online_Survey_Icon_or_logo.svg

Voting. (2010, June 25). Retrieved August 2, 2015, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwvc/6306132745

CEP 812: Smart Problem Solving

This week for CEP 812 we read specific chapters from The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning written by James Paul Gee. During our reading we were asked to focus on a limitation that could prevent humans from solving big, complex problems smartly. As an educator I related the most with chapter 2 which discussed the smart way to approach learning new topics and problem solving.

The conditions Gee (2013) mentions include:

1. Having a mentor
2. Lots of prior experience
3. Making clear goals
4. Something mattering to us emotionally
5. Having opportunity to act in a way that elicits a meaningful response from the world

(Short-circuiting,  para. 15)


It’s important to support a student’s ability to independently problem solve both in and out of the classroom. Using Gee’s conditions allows students to explore their world and become smart, effective problem solvers.

Want to find out more about smart learning and problem solving? You can read my full essay here.


Gee, J. P. (2013). The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning. [Kindle]. Retrieved from http://amazon.com.

Schools, G. (2011, October 20). Retrieved July 30, 2015, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gulliver_academy.jpg

CEP 812: Technology that Assists Autistic Children in the Classroom

My first week’s assignment for CEP 812 was to research technology that would assist a particular disability in the classroom. I have already been informed that I will have an autistic child next year in my first grade classroom, as well as a shadow for that child. According to this student’s individual education plan, he needs his shadow to assist him with communication. Since I haven’t had a child with this disability in the classroom before, I wanted to research an appropriate way to accommodate for the needs of that child during the following school year using technology.

Autism can be defined as “a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors” (What is Autism, 2015). While researching, I found a study implemented by Tin Fan and the purpose of the study was to find a way to use an iPad in order to assist an autistic student with language arts and communication in the classroom. According to Tin, “Deficits and problems of communication are a core component of the diagnosis and treatment of children with autism. Since a third of all children with autism fail to develop speech, non-verbal communications systems such as hand signs, pictures or word card serves as alternatives” (p. 18).  Tim continues to write that “When children have developmental challenges, technology can provide them with opportunities to more fully participate in group activities, increase communication, and be more independent in their daily lives” (p. 20). The study concluded that iPads are worth the investment for schools in order to aid all students that have difficulty communicating or expressing themselves in a classroom setting.

Although there are several applications for students with special needs that are designed to speak for them or help develop their language abilities, I decided to find an application that was easy to navigate for a first grader and would allow the student to express himself in his own way. I found an application called ShowMe that has the following features:

  • Drawing with multiple colors
  • Inserting pictures taken on the iPad
  • Inserting pictures researched on the internet
  • Typing text
  • Recording explanations
  • Ability to make a slideshow presentation
  • Exporting a slideshow presentation

With all of these features the application allows a student to express in a multiple ways. ShowMe would aid non-verbal students with autism by allowing them to draw their ideas or research pictures about topics during group discussions. This application also allows a student to create a presentation that can be played automatically without the student having to make verbal comments. This will help autistic students who may feel anxiety when presenting in front of the class. The features are on one page and to navigate between pages there is a simple arrow key. Similar programs include Explain Everything and EduCreations. I found ShowMe to be simpler and kid friendly while still containing enough features to assist with communication.

For more information, check out my review of ShowMe below.

Can’t see the video? View my screencast of the application here.


Fan, T. (2012). Enhancing learning with the use of assistive technology for children on the autism spectrum. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1023530288?accountid=12598

What Is Autism? (2015). Retrieved July 10, 2015, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

CEP 811: Final Reflection – Bringing it all together

This is yet another class that went by quickly and yet I learned so much! What stuck with me the most was the idea of taking a step back and letting students explore and draw conclusions on their own. I will be the first person to admit that I like to be in control and have things done a certain way. This carries into my teaching because I hate to see my students fail so I help them…a little too much sometimes. However, while taking CEP 811 I learned that it’s okay to fail as a student.  After exploring, reevaluating and succeeding while I used my Makey Makey kit, I wouldn’t even use the word fail anymore. It’s more of reevaluating, redesigning, redefining, and repurposing than failing. This is the attitude that I can instill in my students.

Another thing that I learned is that there is so much more we can do as teachers to help our students become makers. By allowing them access to technology and other tools, they are able to explore, learn and create things that weren’t possible before. Teachers need to create a classroom environment that has evolved into a maker space that students can call their own.

In learning more about the maker movement, I am now understanding the importance to allow students exploration and creativity. Our world is no longer looking for people who have smarts, but for those that can access information and use it to come up with new ideas. As a teacher it is my job to foster this way of thinking in my students.

As I continue my studies at Michigan State University, I am more and more surprised at how much teaching and learning has evolved since I attended grade school. I love the idea that teachers ARE life-long learners because they need to adapt to our every changing world and the technology that comes with that change. Teachers are learning by doing and then teach their students to learn by doing.

I ended this last school year reading and writing poems with my first graders. Keeping with that spirit, please read my diamante poem titled CEP 811 Reflection. If you aren’t familiar with this type of poem, it’s a poem about 2 subjects, and the middle line shows how they are connected.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 4.18.42 PM

And to show my students’ excitement for the Makey Makey stop motion project, please view the cute video below.