Are We Thinking About Growth Mindset Too Narrowly?

This is a guest blog on Finding Common Ground by Jack McDermott.  Jack works for Panorama Education and they complied a survey of over 23,000 middle and high school students.

Here is the question they asked.  Whether a person does well or poorly in school may depend on a lot of different things.  You may feel that some of these things are easier for you to change than others.  In school, how possible is it for you to change:

  • Being talented
  • Liking the subject
  • Your level of intelligence
  • Putting forth a lot of effort
  • Behaving well in class
  • How easily you give up

The answers may or may not surprise you but it opens up the conversation on how big of a challenge this can be.  How many of you are teachers or former teachers like myself?  I can distinctly remember how many different mindsets I dealt with on a daily basis and the challenge of getting students to believe.

Check out the rest of the article to see the statistics!


5 Cyber Security Safeguards for School Districts

Worried about Cyber Security and Data Security at your district?  Adam Eberle, via School Business Affiars, publishes an article that highlights 5 “best practices that will make your student information available and safe.”

Here are the 5 Best Practices:

  1. Review FERPA
  2. Prioritize Data
  3. Protect Passwords
  4. Secure Storage
  5. Schedule an Audit


6 Principles of Genius Hour in the Classroom

What is Genius Hour?  It is an approach to learning that is build around discovery, curiosity, and self-directed learning.

Terry Heick and Teach Thought bring you the “6 Principles of Genior Hour in the Classroom”.

Here are the 6:

  • Sense of purpose
  • 80/20 rule
  • Socialization
  • Creating
  • Inquiry
  • Design

4 Simple Ideas to Use Technology to Engage Students

Last week I posted about a podcast with suggestions to getting started with technology in the classroom.  Here is another resource from Rachelle Dene Poth via Teach Thought.

Here are her 4 ideas:

  • Use infographics to create an engaging syllabus
  • Create Interactive Lessons
  • Student Created Lessons
  • Use engaging digital quizzes and tools

Simplest Ways to Get Started With Education Technology

Are you one of those looking to jump into the crazy, ever changing world of educational technology?  Then you have to listen to the 10 minute podcast that highlights a variety of amazing techniques to get you started.  Even if you are experienced, this podcast provides great ideas that you may never have thought of!

This podcast is brought to us from ASCD and hosted by Mike Janatovich (@mjanatovich).   He interviews Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) and they discuss some easy ways to get started, his book, and how we can use it to collaborate in virtual learning!

Maker Space PD

Maker spaces are a hot item in education today so is there Professional Development out there for account for this!?

Colleen Graves, via Edutopia, publishes a great article called ‘Crafting Professional Development for Maker Educators’.

3 Ways to Use Podcasts

Three ways to use Podcasts this summer” is written by Jeffrey Bradbury, and brought to us by ASCD Inservice.  It is a great resource that you need to read if you are into podcasts.

Here are his 3 ways: (Check out the article for more details!)

  1. Listen
  2. Create
  3. Teach With

I know fall is a few days away but these 3 ideas do not have to start in the fall!  They can start tomorrow, just need to think of useful ways to use them.


How to Raise Successful Kids – Without Over-parenting


Julie Lythcott-Haims delivers a phenomenal speech on parenting and the concept of over-parenting.  I am a father of 3 girls (8, 3, 2) and this is something I think about ALL of the time.  My 8 year old is going on 16 and she likes to push the limit at every turn.

Being 100% transparent about my 8 year old: she has stated that she does not want to go to college and, at this point, that does not bother me at all because I want her to be happy.  As a former teacher, I have witnessed my kids go a variety of ways after school to find happiness so this does not intimidate me.  What does is that I want to make sure that I am treating her like a wildflower and not a bonsai tree.  I want her to grow up with a sense of self worth and efficacy, an understanding of love, and the ability to follow her dreams.

Do you raise your children or treat your students like bonsai trees or like wildflowers?

This TED talk is described below:  (Link to site)

By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren’t actually helping. At least, that’s how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children’s success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should focus on providing the oldest idea of all: unconditional love.

Don’t Leave Learning Up to Chance: Framing and Reflection

Katrina Schwartz publishes a great article, via Mind/Shift, where she highlights the work of Jackie Gerstein.

The article discusses major trends in education like Project Based Learning and maker spaces and making sure that learning occurs.  Like anything new that you try it takes time to master the craft and get it right.  She stresses the importance of Framing it and reflecting up it to make sure that learning happens in your lesson/activity.

She does an awesome job explaining her thought process and ways to make sure that learning occurs!  Check it out! 

“We’re missing something when we gloss over what we just did in this powerful making and not being intentional about what you learned,” Gerstein said.


New Apple Program ‘Everyone Can Code’

This article comes via EdSurge and is written by Mary Jo Madda.  Coding is becoming more and more popular and Apple has decided to jump in!

“CEO Tim Cook announced on September 7 that 114 ConnectED schools will start programming this fall. According to Cook, Apple has also provided a Mac and an iPad to 4,500 teachers, while also putting an Apple TV in every ConnectED classroom and distributing 50,000 iPads for students.”

For more information you can check out the “Everyone Can Code” initiative and follow how they are working with ConnectED.

Also check out an older article that I cited for additional information on Coding.  I love the coding initiatives!!  It exposes children to technology but also teaching them the fundamentals of problem solving and patience while learning valuable informaiton.