On Creativity and Digitality: Building a Line of Research

In recent years, I’ve been working with a phenomenal group of faculty and students at Michigan State University (The Deep-Play Research Group), to build a research program that centers around creativity, technology and 21st century education. So it was quite a nice opportunity to get the chance to co-author a chapter for the Handbook of Research on Teacher Education in the Digital Age, that details the development of a series of projects and a whole line of thinking in our work. In a sense, this chapter not only examines the findings of some of our research and teaching, but it also takes a meta-level look at the development of a line of research. For those interested, the full citation is available here:

Mishra, P., Henriksen, D., & Mehta, R. (2015). Creativity, Digitality, and Teacher Professional Development: Unifying Theory, Research, and Practice. In M. Niess, & H. Gillow-Wiles (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Teacher Education in the Digital Age (pp. 691-722). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. [Download PDF of the article].



Creative Teachers Study

My study of creative teachers, which I conducted a few years back as my dissertation, has finally published as an article in Teachers College Record (these things can take a while to make it to publication). 🙂 My excellent coauthor was writing/research partner-in-crime, Dr. Punya Mishra.

Doing this study put my in a position to speak to some of the best and most noted teachers in the country, which was not only a privilege, it was inspiring and fascinating. Their work was cross-disciplinary, rooted in real world applications of learning, innovative and effective, and it spanned a variety of contexts and types of students and settings.

The article can be found via TC Record here (though to get the full version beyond the abstract, you have to go through an institutional subscription, or at least signup for the free online subscription):

Henriksen, D., & Mishra, P. (in press). We teach who we are: Creativity in the lives and practices of accomplished teachersTeachers College Record Volume 117 Number 7, 2015, p. 1–46. http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17947

A full PDF version can be found here: We Teach Who We Are.

Vialogues – On Creativity and Teaching

My dissertation work is soon to be published as an article in Teachers College Record. And I was excited to have the opportunity to be interviewed and talk a bit more about the work, in an episode of Vialogues (a video series that Columbia University does to feature the work of authors in the Teachers College Record journal). Feel free to check it out in the link here…https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/22566/




Trans-disciplinary Skills, Education and Technology

Much of my work in recent years has focused around creativity and trans-disciplinary skills (or cognitive skills for thinking creatively across disciplines). Around this I’ve been working on a column series for Tech Trends with Punya Mishra and varied guest co-authors, each of which covers a different trans-disciplinary skill for creativity, as framed by teaching and technology. I’m happy to say that we have now covered each of the seven skills (perceiving, patterning, abstracting, embodied thinking, modeling, play and synthesis), and all of those columns have been published over the last year or so by Tech Trends. Additionally, the citations and PDFs can be found here: Read more…

A Tale of Two Courses: Online-Hybrid Doctoral Learning

I’m pleased to share an article about a couple of case studies of blended doctoral learning, in a special issue of Tech Trends focused online-hybrid doctoral programs, edited by Cara Dawson and Swapna Kumar. This special issue focuses on a variety of unique and interesting approaches to doctoral learning in online and blended environments. I co-authored this with Punya Mishra, Christine Greenhow, Cary Roseth, and William Cain (all of whom have extensive experience in online/hybrid doctoral teaching and learning design at MSU).

In this paper we suggest: Read more…

Special Edition of Tech Trends

A special spotlight issue of Tech Trends recently published this Spring (I’m remiss in not posting this last month), which I had the unique opportunity to participate in as a Guest Editor, along with colleagues Punya Mishra and Laura Terry from here at MSU.  The special issue focused its spotlight on our innovative award-winning Educational Psychology & Educational Technology program.  The articles, as follows, may be of interest:

Mishra, P., Terry, L., Henriksen, D. (2013). Guest Editors’ NotesTechTrends 57(3),2. Read more…

New publication: Creativity in STEM disciplines

For those interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and creative thinking within those disciplines, you may be interested in this recent publication I had the opportunity to work on with Dr. Punya Mishra, and Colin Terry.  The focus is on engineering creativity, with STEM fields in the broader scope of creativity:

Mishra, P., Terry, C., Henriksen, D. & the Deep-Play Research Group (2013). Square Peg, Round Hole, Good Engineering .  Tech Trends, (57)  2. p. 22-25.

Creativity Now! An Educational Leadership Article from Henriksen and Mishra

Before the month of February is out, I should mention a recent article that I co-authored with Dr. Punya Mishra, published in the online educational practitioner journal Educational Leadership.  This is a short piece, loosely based on a few aspects of my dissertation work. If you’re interested in the topic of creative teaching, you may enjoy this quick read on the subject:

Henriksen, D., & Mishra, P. (2013). Learning from creative teachers. Educational Leadership. 70(5). Retrieved from  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Learning-from-Creative-Teachers.aspx

Interesting Articles

In the past week or so, I’ve seen a couple of interesting articles on the topic of creativity in the Huffington Post. What caught my attention more than anything wasn’t just the focus on creativity in a popular source, but that these articles place a fairly trans-disciplinary emphasis on the subject. This focus didn’t necessarily get down to the specific level of trans-disciplinary thinking skills (like observation, abstraction, etc), but signaled a broader view of creativity that crosses disciplinary boundaries. Most notably, both articles suggested something very much in line with the creativity framework I focus on — that people with more widely varied interests (whether in hobbies, skills, subject matters, intellectual interests, etc) tend to be better at innovative thinking.

The first piece I noticed last week, “Does Business Need the Arts to be Innovative? Five Executives Weigh In“, by Elysabeth Alfano, discusses the way that the most successful and innovative businesses have fostered creativity, by widening the scope of their employees experiences overall, and exposure to the arts in particular. The whole piece has some excellent quotes from successful business leaders and innovative entrepreneurs, which speak to the power of creativity — even in fields like finance or business, which we don’t typically think of as having a creative bend to them. For example, Mark Tebbe, co-founder and former vice chairman of Answers.com, current tech columnist for “The Daily Splash” for the Chicago Sun Times and Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business…(i.e. guy who’s knowledgeable about successful business), Read more…

Some Recent Tech Trends Pieces

Recently, I have had the pleasure to co-author several columns for the journal “Tech Trends” (working with Dr. Punya Mishra, and a creativity research group I am part of here at MSU, the Deep-Play Research Group). These articles have all focused on varied angles and aspects around the topic of trans-disciplinary creativity — or creative thinking skills that span disciplines. These columns are relatively short, with a fairly cross-disciplinary perspective on learning. So if you are interested, please feel free to check out any of these first three pieces in the series, that are currently online and in-print:

Mishra, P., Fahnoe, C., Henriksen, D., & The Deep-Play Research Group (2013). Creativity, Self-directed Learning, and the Architecture of Technology Rich Environments.  Tech Trends, (57) 1. 10-13.

Mishra, P., Henriksen, D., &  The Deep-Play Research Group (2012). On Being (In)disciplined Tech Trends 56(6), 18-21.

Mishra, P., & The Deep-Play Research Group (2012). Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century: Crayons are the Future .  Tech Trends, 56(5),  13-16.