Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's All in the Mindset

Blogging is not easy for me. I read other educator's blogs, and I'm impressed by their deep and philosophical posts. Compared to them, my posts are rather shallow. I tend to report on things I've learned from those other teachers instead of waxing eloquent with my own thoughts. Oh, well - that's not my style. I do hope that the links I mention in my blog are helpful to others. Not many people leave comments, and it gets kind of discouraging thinking I'm writing for an audience of one - me. However, I do have a traffic reporter, and I know that at least 20 or 30 people are looking in a week's or maybe a month's time. I guess I'll have to be content with that. I am of the growth mindset, so I'm willing to take a chance and keep this blog going, if for no other reason than to stretch my own learning. That leads into the title of this post.
This evening I tuned into the Classroom 2.0-Future of Education webinar series. At least once a week Steve Hargadon interviews a person of note who has written a book on the changing face (or not) of our educational system. Tonight he spoke with Carol Dweck - Stanford University professor and social psychologist. Her book, Mindset-The New Psychology of Success - speaks to the "fixed theory of intelligence" and contrasts it with the "growth or incremental" theory of intelligence.

Basically, she is putting forth advice to parents and teachers to praise kids not because they are so "smart" but because they have worked so hard on whatever project they've completed which is receiving praise. According to Carol Dweck, those folks who have the fixed theory don't do well with failure and are hesitant to take chances. On the other hand, folks who've developed the growth theory deal better with failure and "are likely to continue working hard despite setbacks." There is no harm in praising our children/students as long as we phrase it correctly.
I am embedding a slide share that outlines Ms. Dweck's research findings.

Here is a link (dropped into the chat during the webinar) to an article in New York Magazine entitled "The Power(and Peril) of Praise. The article is interesting in and of itself, but it is also important to read through the dozens of comments from folks responding to the text. This is truly a collaborative world we live in, and I often learn much more from the commentary as I do from the article.
If you haven't participated in any of the Classroom 2.0 webinars, I highly recommend them. They are a great source of professional development.
Hope everyone enjoys the last remaining days of summer vacation when we have time and energy to engage in these professional development offerings.
Here is the link to the Classroom 2.0 archived webinars:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Experimenting with Glogster EDU

One of the sessions I attended at the Discovery Education Spring Conference in May of 2010 was on using Glogster -an online poster creation tool. It offers both free and subscription plans for educators. Many teachers have had their students create posters in Glogster as alternative web-based projects for topics they are studying in school. Glogster provides a number of tools. Students can add graphics from the site or upload pictures from their local computers. They can add videos from YouTube or upload videos they have created. There are all kinds of fancy boxes where students can type information. There is even a application which allows you to capture your picture and voice (or just audio) from your webcam. You can also attach any type of file which will open in a separate window. There is a paperclip in the bottom-right hand corner of the glog that is the access to uploaded files. I took the embed code from Glogster and will paste it into this post. My glog is just an experiment to showcase some of the options available in creating a poster.

I did have a few problems. When I recorded audio using my webcam, the recorded segment cut off some of my comments. Also, somehow I had marked the glog as private, and I can't seem to find a way to change it to public.

Well, that didn't work so well. The Glog is too wide for the blog. If anyone knows how to fix this, I'd appreciate a comment. I'll paste the web address below, so you can view the blog on the web.