The Journey Begins

What a journey this EdTech class has been! I am amazed at how much I have learned. I am thankful the first couple of weeks began with the Growth Mindset. I believe this book opened my mind to accept the forthcoming challenges of this class. I was introduced to the Growth Mindset years ago, but don’t think I was ready to hear or acknowledge its validity. I have always deemed myself a positive person, however as I plunged myself into this book, I realized positivity is not synonymous with a growth mindset. This book triggers self-reflection on a different level.  I am a self-motivated person and thrive on learning new things, however, I have noticed if I don’t see the value or truly understand, my persistence is low. For example, I have not conquered navigating Twitter, yet! Prior to reading this book and taking this class, I had an account that I rarely used. Now, I’m on the site frequently checking out videos and consistently exploring. After reading the book and exploring the growth mindset research, it resonated so much with me, I wanted to share with my colleagues. Here is a link to my presentation:  https://prezi.com/view/Srk235ThMBRosUG5tGwI . Please feel free to leave feedback as I am always open to suggestions. I want to build upon this presentation to demonstrate the importance and value of the growth mindset and give others a plan to implement the growth mindset in their own avenue.

While contemplating on which platform to use, I decided to embrace the growth mindset and use a platform I had never used. I must say, it was frustrating in the beginning, however, I pressed through it and used Prezi. My default presentation tool is PowerPoint and there were many points when I almost reverted to my comfort zone. This was one of the challenges that presented itself when diving into the COVA learning model.

Image result for growth mindset quotesFailing forward is an interesting idea within the growth mindset. The concept allows you to embrace and accept failures as learning lessons. Not learning lessons that you perceive as, “This is not for me.” But as learning lessons that drive strategic thinking and revamping of plans. Failing forwards says, having just a plan b, is only the beginning. Plans C-Z and so on are still available. In my example above, about the Prezi presentation, I was so completely frustrated, I started to create a PowerPoint presentation. I determined my theme, began planning my slides and then I decided, “No”, you are going to give Prezi a fair chance. The assignment I submitted, did not give me the best grade I aspired for, however, the feedback I later received was invaluable. It gave me a new direction and I understood where improvements and clarity were necessary. Had I gone with my default comfort zone, I would not have learned from my new experience. I believe it is difficult to learn to from repetitive behavior because it doesn’t present any new challenges. Ramy Mahmoud gives a thought provoking speech at a TEDTalk in 2014. Check it out…..

The COVA learning model is a phenomenal learning strategy. I must admit at first exposure to the model, I felt apprehension, confusion, and frustration. Traditional learning methods thrive on explicit instructions such as platforms to use, font, spacing, length and so on, thereby focusing on students creating extremely similar products assigned by the instructor. I’ve never really understood the reasoning behind a word count on assignments. Sometimes, I feel like I’m rambling just to accomplish the word count requirement. The ability for creative thought and products is vanquished, leaving you with the accomplishment of “following instructions.” This learning model has impacted me greatly! During a conversation with my professor, Dr. Harapnuik, I confessed, “I don’t know how I can go back to traditional learning.” I really enjoy the freedom of constructing my own product to demonstrate my evidence of learning. This learning model breeds creativity and gives the learner a voice in their own learning.

This model does appeal to me and what’s funny is I did use this approach when I was a teacher, I just didn’t know there was an actual model of this learning approach. I always wanted my students to learn from each other and meaningful learning experiences. I never saw value in assigning everyone the same project, such as the solar system. Having 22 models of the same information didn’t increase their knowledge of the solar system. Instead, I would assign students different planets or other objects in the sky. Students were given the guidelines for necessary information and then they could choose how they decided to present it.

I believe the most beneficial part of the COVA learning model is the ability to choose how you deliver your evidence of learning. Clear expectations are key in this learning model. Students must know what the finished product must include. I also think the choice component is a little challenging as well. Because I have the opportunity to choose, I am tasked with deciding on which digital platform I will utilize to ensure my learning is concise and can be understood by my audience.

Image result for schoolsHonestly, I believe if schools adopted this learning model, students would be more engaged in their learning. I know for me, I was completely engaged in learning new platforms and craved to explore more about the learning model. Engagement is an essential component of student learning, so why do we task them “following instructions” type of assignments? I want to share this model with my school. The challenge will be combating traditional methods of thinking and conveying the validity of this approach. Traditional learning is rampant at my school. I have witnessed teachers assign assignments where everyone is expected to produce the same product.  If we want to bring learning into the 21st century, we must update our instructional and learning strategies. The COVA model is a piece of the process. How do students benefit from seeing the same product 21 other times? How do they find value in their learning?  The COVA model instinctly drives critical thinking and problem-solving. These are skills pertinent to higher learning and real-world application. For more information on the COVA Learning Model, please visit http://www.harapnuik.org.

I can’t wait to see what else my EdTech program holds, especially the DLL component. I am stoked because I have never created a blog and have always wanted a place to my view and information. Currently, I just share links to my collegueas and sometimes they lose them or forget what they are for. Having a place to comprise my thoughts and share things I think are important is a mindblowing thing for me. I know, I know, I am late to the game. But as the old adage proclaims, “Better late than never!”

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

 

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References

(n.d.). Retrieved August 17, 2018, from http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=6615
Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York, NY: Random House.
Mahmoud, R. (n.d.). Let’s teach our kids to “fail forward” | Ramy Mahmoud | TEDxPlano. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJs-RiPOKVY

 

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