Maker MIndset #clmooc #teachdonow

Jackie Gerstein at UsergeneratedEducation pushes us constantly to think through the educational mandates and silver bullets to focus on students and their learning. What will best guide students to become thinking, caring, productive persons?

The first thirty-eight slides of her presentation [ below ] provide thoughtful background theories and key questions to consider for our classrooms.


Slide 8: Something to do. We lost this when state standards developed in the 1990s. We removed the authenticity of doing and replaced it with intangible verbiage, which would have been the learning had we continued with the doing.

Slide 22: The most important question for classrooms – because doing is learning.

Slide 27: Love this question. After all, aren’t we trying to make the world better?

Slide 29: The Soft Skills – the process of planning, searching, gathering, sharing, collaborating, listening, debating, revising. The skills we learn through doing and doing together.

With each of these first thirty-eight slides, I say – that’s what what we need to consider! That’s our goal… I appreciate that Jackie shares these slides and continues with examples in the latter part.

Jackie’s Thinglink provides more information to consider:

Refer to the work of those who focused on learning as opposed to standards or skill objectives. Review the work of Dewey [and here], Vygotsky, Bruner, Papert [and here]. For Language Arts, see the work of James Moffett [ and here ].

Consider these ideas and questions. Consider the students in your classroom. When did we lose the doing? We learn what we need while doing something. We learn the strategies as we go, with support from our collaboration with peers or colleagues. Every time we do something, we build on what we learned before. That is the power of project-based learning. Students today are fading out in classrooms, bored with the posted objective; they want to learn what is of interest to them — or a question, an issue that piques their interests. With information readily available, it is the questions asked about that information that leads to learning and understanding it; it is what we want to do with the information that allows us to learn deeper. It is the sharing and collaborating with a shared purpose that propels us to do more and better to discover an answer and produce the results for others to contribute; this is learning. It fits in any classroom.

How will we as educators bring the power of the question and the doing back into our classrooms?



Source of Quote

Dewey, John. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. New York: Macmillan, 1916. Print. p. 181
Cross Post

#clmooc Mindset to Mindwave




 Growth Mindset: Embrace and Persist

Fixed Mindset: Avoid and Give Up

Carol Dweck’s advice [ via Jackie Gerstein’s Mozilla Popcorn ]:

We are both. Accept the fixed, then talk back to that voice with a growth mindset.

Mindset What?

During our Twitter Chat last Thursday, August 1st, a question about mindsets was asked. These resources were tweeted back:

Deeper Learning Mooc Resources

Mindset Carol Dweck site

Learning Theories and Online Learning [mindsets of learning theories!]

And today, Jackie Gerstein has added more information about Mindsets. Her post, The Educator and the Growth Mindset, shares her infographic [below] and slides — click to view– amazing video embedded there. So, how strong is your growth mindset? Here’s a survey to find out: MindsetWorks Brainology 

So set your mind for connected learning and grow your connections!


Mindsets 4 Students, How?

Jackie’s slides also included Karen Fasimpaur’s “Lens into the Classroom” tuning protocol to help students develop a growth mindset.

 Important points:
“*Helping students develop systems and habits that translate to success

• Weekly goal-setting for academic performance.

• Frequent and specific teacher feedback on how to write goals that translate into action (learning strategies). Also coaching on academic mindset messaging.

• Weekly student-reflection on progress and how/if the specific action tried led to reaching their goal of academic success”

Help students set specific goals and monitor the progress with feedback and reflections. Help them grow a growth mindset.

Mindset — What Else?

It’s not easy to do this — students may say they believe, but often their actions do not support that belief.

So what else can we do to help students by changing what we do and believe?  Several possible ideas crossed my path today:

Elana Aguilar’s Best Year Ever Edutopia Post  [Dive into your own PD; Enjoy your work (journal the positives); Connect with others]

From Walter McKensie’s post  3 TED Talks That Can Change How You Learn, Teach & Lead from Jeff Dunn’s post at Edudemic.

Renata Salecl: We have a choice in what kind of society we want to live [ starts at 13:00]

Joi Ito, Head of MIT Media Lab: Citizen Scientist and Now-ist – choosing to do something; learning over education; compass over maps;

“a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission or for proof that you have the right idea.”

Roselinde Torres: What it takes to be a great leader

Where are you looking to anticipate change? [see around corners; shaping their future]

What is the diversity nature of your network? [solutions from diversity]

Are you courageous enough to abandon the past? [great leaders dare to be different]

5 Terry Elliott’s presentation of David Foster Wallace’s This is Water


“This is the freedom of real education.”

“You get to decide how you see it.”

“This is water.”

 Mindset, CLMOOC, and What will you do?

How does this help?

1. I see that as much as I try, I also have some fixed ideas; we all do. One thing CLMOOC helps with is that positive modeling – that support for those trying new things. In this post are lots of support helps to remind me to keep trying, to talk to that doubter and to keep going. I’ll refer to Jackie’s Thinglink and Elana’s post [love the writing positives idea] and share them with others to discuss. Move forward. See around the corners. NOTE: you know you have eyes in the back of your head, so seeing around corners shouldn’t take that much more effort.

2. If I need support with maintaining a growth mindset, my students certainly do as well. CLMOOC demonstrated that conversation and relationships build the community needed to grow together, to support each other in trying new things. Taking time to “make” conversation through different venues [in class, on paper, in blogs and comments, in Google Docs/Slides, in images and labels, etc.], we can build that community that sees success is possible. Discussing both product and process, in person and in reflection, online or off, will promote a positive learning environment. We’ll connect for shared purposes on academic goals; we’ll share our interests and build in collaboration and peer support and feedback; we’ll develop protocols together for feedback and asking questions. By the end of CLMOOC our community had even more participants, some lurkers joining in before the end — the support and acceptance provided that choice and freedom; it’s how our classroom communities will grow as well.

3. From Renata, I know I must stand up to make this choice for myself and my students. From Joi Ito and CLMOOC, it’s the NOW-ist that counts– what is needed today to get us to our vision? It’s the compass over the map– the vision guides our path and choices. And from Rosalinde, I know that my online Professional Network is diverse, as is my school community. Listening to all ideas will guide choices and solutions, and part of my learning will help in school, as I speak up with a different voice, backed up by the CLMOOC-PLN. I will definitely need to “see around the corner” because mandates hold us in the past, but I will remember “this is water” and “I get to decide how I’ll see it.”

4. So, consider this: I accept the challenges ahead and will discover solutions with peers that include steps towards new ideas in our shared purposes through alternative avenues that my students and I try, share, and reflect on. We’ll listen to our voices, and choose to move forward, daring to be different in our diligence, and creating a dialogue of reflection to build success together. Our projects will move from our requirements and add student interests; we’ll connect with others and carry our conversations to them. We won’t have a mindset, we’ll have mindwaves that ebb and flow with mistakes and learning. Our focus will always be a mindwave forward.

5. That acceptance of a challenge and diving into the flow of possibilities has already resulted in action. Several Middle School teachers have already considered collaboration. Michelle Stein has created a poll daddy survey to help connect us with a focus. We’ve started a current in the stream of our CLMOOC-PLN and are starting the mindwave forward.

6. To my CLMOOC-PLN, remember that we always have a choice; it may include sidesteps, alternative paths, or need for support, but we know the mindset of accepting challenges and moving forward without giving up. Check back at CLMOOC and EducatorInnovator, refer to the Mindset supports here, and begin a strategy [see step 5] to stay connected.

What will you do?

I leave you with Jackie’s Mozilla Mindset Popcorn and “This is Water”