AMAZING CLASS! This was the perfect foundation for my quest. I didn’t REALLY know what to expect when I signed up for this journey. I sort of had an idea…but I was so wrong! The last time I sat in a college classroom was 1996. I was expecting the course to be the same as all of my other college courses. EDLD 5302 was so different than ANY course I had ever been a part of. This class was the perfect start for my Master of Education!
We were introduced to Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset.
I learned about the message of “yet….” Oddly enough, I have actually used the power of YET with my 6th grade students. I did not know who Carol Dweck was, but I was unknowingly using her ideas! To me, YET means that you can (and will) get there. YET means to not throw your hands in the air and give up. Yet means to BE LIKE MIKE. Michael Jordan, that is, quite possibly the greatest basketball player of all times. Do you know he was cut from his high school varsity basketball team as a sophomore? Who would know who the Chicago Bulls were if MJ had not believed in the power of YET?
In a way, I have a fixed mindset (thanks to EDLD 5302, that mindset is going away). However, I welcome constructive criticism, love a challenge, and don’t give up easily. That means I also am sporting a growth mindset!
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned using the growth mindset idea with my 6th grade students. However, I did want them to worry about their grades (which is a fixed mindset trait). We explored growth mindsets through a series of cartoon videos available to anyone. They can be found on the CLASS DOJO website. Below is the first video in the series.
Here are my thoughts about the Growth Mindset.
The next progression in this course was the COVA learning approach. COVA is an acronym for Choice-Ownership-Voice-Authentic (Learning). I began immediately implementing the COVA method. At first, I did not feel comfortable using the COVA method. It was so open. I was used to a structure where I was told exactly what to do and how to do it. This new found freedom was a bit scary. I can honestly say that at this point in my quest, I am feeling much more comfortable taking charge of my learning and implementing the COVA method!
Then we jumped into Personal Learning Networks (PLN for short). I have been utilizing PLNs for quite some time, but just recently added a few.
Personal Learning Networks
These are PLN websites that I have been a member of for quite some time. I find the first four to be the most helpful for me in my classroom. They are definitely my “go-to-guys!” All of these have great tutorials and awesome innovative ideas. I have implemented many of the ideas they have posted in my classroom (6th grade technology applications) with great success.
http://ditchthattextbook.com/ Ditch that textbook is created by Matt Miller. Matt focuses on encouraging teachers to use technology in their lessons. He offers the free ebook titled 101 Ways to Ditch That Textbook when you subscribe to his mailing list.
http://www.friedtechnology.com/ I was introduced to friEDTECHnology during fall in service for our school district in 2016. Amy Mayer is the CEO and wow, they are superb! She has a team that will come to your school and give presentations and professional development. Their website is loaded with great information. There are instructional videos on her youtube channel, she is active on twitter and facebook. If you go to her Pinterest account, she has a lot of personal stuff, but she has one board titles TECHNO STUFF that has great ideas. A wealth of information is located on her blog.
http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ Is hosted by Richard Byrne. I have found that Richard really keeps up with the latest and greatest. When a new tool is developed, it seems as though he is the first to post about it! Tons of great info on Richard’s site!
http://www.shakeuplearning.com/ I can’t say enough about Kasey Bell and her website and blog! You want lots of ways to use technology, she is always posting free guides. This site is another I turn to often. I get excited when a new “Shake Up Learning” email pops up in my inbox!
The next four PLN sites are ones I also have been part of for awhile. I use them, too, but not as much as the top four listed previously.
https://edu.google.com/ All things Google!
https://www.tcea.org/ (Texas Computer Education Association) This PLN does cost $49 to join annually, but they do come up with good stuff. Plus you get the magazine titled Tech Edge.
https://www.atpe.org/en/Home Sorry, not much info here! I’ll have to dig deeper into this PLN. It does cost to join.
https://www.commonsense.org/ This place is awesome! I go here for my digital citizenship lessons. Plus at CommonSenseMedia, there are great, informative movie reviews.
Here is the list of PLNs I have just joined, so check back later to read my reviews!