What You “Knead” to Know about Homemade Pizza and JSET

CIDDL Cizzles with Chef Michael Kennedy

Author: Michelle Patterson

CIDDL Cizzles welcomed Dr. Michael Kennedy, Associate Professor in Special Education at the University of Virginia. In this Cizzle, Dr. Kennedy shared the “knead to know” information about the Journal for Special Education Technology (JSET) as well as how to make homemade dough for the best Detroit-style pizza.


Just like Dr. Kennedy, who has been making pizza since his teens, JSET has an extensive history, which is currently in its 38th volume, publishing four issues a year, and holding a 1.8 Clarivate impact factor. Members of the Council for Exceptional Children- Innovations in Special Education Technology (CEC-ISET) division have direct access to the journal, which should also be available through most institutions of higher education.

Different Types

Dr. Kennedy shared that his homemade pizza dough can be used for either deep dish or thin crust, providing an option for different preferences. Similarly, JSET publishes both Original Research and Technology in Action (TIA) articles. Dr. Kennedy shared that replication studies also fall under the Original Research category and are needed for technology research. While single case design and quantitative studies are most common, Dr. Kennedy encouraged the submission of qualitative research as well, indicating its importance to the field. Technology in Action (TIA) practitioner pieces focus on new technologies that are not yet widely known. Additionally, JSET publishes articles in special issues, with the most recent call for submissions dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Special Education Technology.

Quality Ingredients and Article Acceptance

Dr. Kennedy walked through the process of making homemade pizza dough, discussing the importance of quality ingredients such as high gluten flour, malt powder, and Goldilocks water (“not too hot, not too cold; just right”) for the perfect pizza that is crunchy on the edges and bottom, yet soft like a pillow on the inside. In the context of reporting on research projects, quality ingredients in a JSET article include a solid review of the literature, well-described participants, methods that can be replicated, and a discussion of reliability and validity.

Dr. Kennedy continues the comparison to pizza and JSET, stating:

“Putting together a journal article is as intricate as all this-you can’t put it together in a day.  Research articles, Tech in Action articles, do not come together in a day. It takes teamwork- you have lots of people who are involved in either buying the ingredients or collecting data out in the field.  You’re using different technologies to put together everything, and these various ingredients are a lot like (you can think about them as) research team members but I was also thinking about them as different methodologies that all make sense. So, you think about ‘Oh, I was using teaspoons, cups, and what have you’- and these measurements- are very precise, and done with so much foresight, and that’s the way that a successful JSET research or Tech in Action article comes together. They’re put together really specifically with a whole slew of ingredients that come together to create something that’s really delicious.”

Just like there’s really no such thing as bad pizza, Dr. Kennedy corrected the misconception that a research article must have statistically significant results to be published. Rather, he stated,

“If the results of your experiment were null, you know what- that’s still a finding and that’s still worth reporting to the field.  You don’t have to have a grand slam to try to get into JSET. We will publish if the methods are good, and if the study didn’t work out well, that’s something that we want to tell people about and then have a discussion that moves the field forward.”

Taste Testers & Reviewers Needed

Dr. Kennedy’s daughter, Molly, was on hand to not only help with the baking but to also deliver piping hot pizzas to their neighbors who have had experience as “taste testers.” Dr. Kennedy shared that JSET depends on reviewers, and encourages faculty at institutions of higher education and advanced doctoral students to contact either himself or his co-editor, Dr. Joseph Boyle, sharing background and relevant information.  Those interested in reviewing should sign up for an account with Manuscript Central. Dr. Kennedy recommends clearly designating keywords as these will be used to match reviewers to manuscripts. Whether you are a professor, a doctoral student, or a practitioner in the classroom, JSET has something for you.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to get a slice of the JSET action, be sure to visit their website. If this blog has created a hunger for more, be sure to check out the Cizzle with Dr. Michael Kennedy. After you finish watching, you are invited to be a judge of the Cizzle by rating the chef in the areas of connection, preparation, and aesthetics using the CIDDL Cizzle Rating System at the bottom of the page. For other resources integrating technology and the UDL framework, be sure to stay up-to-date with the CIDDL resources and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest in innovations!  It’s the yeast we can do! 

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