Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Growth Mindset and Learner Motivation

 “Students may know how to study, but won’t want to if they believe their efforts are futile. If you target that belief, you can see more benefit than you have any reason to hope for.” (Dweck, 2007).

This week we will be focused on leveraging what we know about brain-based instructional strategies to respond to learners’ needs.  

Watch the video and look at the image below. Reflecting on how your own mindset, and the mindset of your learners can affect instruction in your classroom.

The video discussed very quick ways to capitalize on growth mindset when providing feedback to learners. The examples are all verbal. When providing feedback that supports growth mindset, what are your thoughts on virtual vs. face-to-face? What is an example of a question or statement you use that supports growth mindset?

The image breaks down the differences in the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Think about your mindset when it comes to using technology in your experiences. What type of mindset do you think is needed when it comes to your technology proficiency and the proficiency of your learners? What types of risks are you willing to take in your classroom?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Cultural Perspective

Our team read an article a couple weeks ago on culture in education.  We found the perspective very interesting and wanted to share the article with you.  It's very long and takes a while to read so we thought we would pull out a few quotes to share some ideas.

When you think of culture, what are you picturing?

"Cultural preferences are strongly embedded because humans are highly social creatures with strong needs to fit within our groups. There are many layers of culture, from work and family cultures to community and regional cultures up to national and even international cultures based on shared heritage and language. Culture is learned but is also constrained by human nature."

Our Own Cultural Perspective

"Cultural sensitivity is not just one-way, however. Instructional providers should be acutely aware of their own culture because their world views cannot be separated from the training that they develop (Thomas, Mitchell, & Joseph, 2002). They should become cognizant of how their own cultural perspectives are represented in the design decisions they make. Furthermore, instructional providers should examine the assumptions they hold about how learners will and should respond, keeping an open mind for potentially unexpected responses. Moreover, they must balance the need to help students adapt to specific professional, academic, and mainstream cultures (which instructors, by proxy, represent) and the need to embrace the culture in which the student is embedded (Henderson, 1996). This is no small challenge."

We thought it was interesting to think about how our own culture effects how we teach or what we value as important.  As educators using differentiation in our lessons we think about our kid's needs and perspectives. What about our cultural perspectives?

The Culture of Technology Use

Another point that was brought up in the article is the culture of technology use. When it comes to technology use, we grew up in a vastly different era than the learners of today. Does this play a part in a cultural divide between learners and educators? What does that mean in the classroom? Does this change the way you design your experiences?

Here is the full article:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Responsive Teaching = Successful Learning

We are excited to continue our Professional Learning Challenge as we move into the fourth and final module of  “Unlock Your Digital Genius”.  

Over the past year we have been diving into different avenues for designing learning experiences. We began with the digital learning environment, then examined assessing for learning, and finally explored scaffolding activities.  We will combine all of the skills we acquired in the past modules to respond to our learner's needs.

The goal of teaching is successful learning. Responsive teaching means that an educator establishes a positive relationship with each learner in order to understand the background experiences, learning preferences, interests, culture and supports needed to ensure successful learning. Just as all learners are not the same, a one-size-fits-all approach does not meet the needs of all learners.

Responsive educators:
  • employ multiple learning strategies 
  • incorporate content literacy strategies
  • design engaging lessons
  • facilitate inquiry
  • differentiate according to interest, culture, and readiness
  • make the content relevant
  • maintain high expectations for all learners
  • design learning experiences to intentionally embrace diversity
  • create personalized learning pathways for all learners
  • establish a safe learning environment​

During the last module, we will look at different ways digital tools can be leveraged to respond to learners’ individual needs.



So what can you to do to participate? 

Check out the activities below.  

Each one is optional.  
Participate, share, lurk--however you choose to partake know that you won't regret it!  

Responsive Teaching EdCamp Session- (flex credit available for this session)
March 25th, 2014 @ 3:30-5:30
Sign up here

Twitter Chat
#cisdchat: April 9 @7pm 

Webinar - (flex credit available for this session)
April 16th, 2014  @ 7pm
Sign up here

The Implementation Challenge - (flex credit available for participation)
due by April 18th, 2014 @ 4pm
Click for Details
Sign up here


What's one thing you learned this year that you can use to respond to your learners??

Monday, March 3, 2014

Scaffolding Reflection

Throughout the past 7 weeks we have been looking at scaffolding and how to best meet your learners needs. We have learned that good scaffolding begins with your design considerations, whether it be learning outcomes, future ready outcomes, learning styles, ability and readiness, culture (background and needs), what resources you have available, voice and choice or brain based. With these design considerations in mind we shifted the learning to choosing the best scaffolding experiences for learners. Each week we spotlighted a different scaffolding experience, from menus, ports, stations, workshops and digital learning environments.  

Several CISD educators have participated in the implementation challenge for Module 3. Check out some of their reflections on using scaffolding activities in their classroom.

Are you wanting to see some examples of scaffolding activities? We have added new examples from those who took part in our implementation challenge. Visit our website full of examples.

In the comments section, use the sentence stem below to reflect on your understanding of scaffolding.

  • I used to think….  now I know…

We are coming to a close in learning all about scaffolding, but module 4 is about to roll out and there are some GREAT things planned.  Next week module 4 begins and it is all about responsive teaching.  Stay tuned for our weekly blogposts, twitter chats, webinar, implementation challenge and face-to-face sessions.