Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27. A Year of Growth Cats: Happy Cat-iversary!

So, today is my GROWTH-MINDSET-CAT-IVERSARY! No kidding: I made the first growth mindset cat on June 27 in 2015 as a follow-up to the Upgrading Online conference, and you can see the first cat at Google+ — this was the very first of the cats: I love a challenge!


And looking back on this past year, wow, I am really happy about how the project has taken shape! It's become a way for me to think about my own growth while sharing Dweck's mindset approach with lots of different people, and it has also had a big impact on my classes.

Here are the different directions the projects has gone over the past year:

Growth Mindset Memes blog. Originally, I was thinking I would do other kinds of memes, but the cats have worked so well that the blog is almost all cats; here's the main index for the blog. Next year I might start branching out to make other kinds of memes for aspects of growth mindset that are harder to illustrate with cats. So far, though, cats have been great for the parts of growth mindset that I value the most, such as exploring curiosity and confronting fear.

Pinterest Board. There is a board of Growth Mindset cats, plus one for Growth Mindset Resources (I started that second board this summer in conjunction with the Canvas project; see below).

Flickr Album. I add each new cat to the Flickr album while also rotating the old cats into the sequence:


Widgets. There are javascript widgets also which I've included in the sidebars for many of my blogs: random cats, and also a cat calendar:




Growth Mindset Challenges. This list of challenges is how my students engage with growth mindset, and the success of that project in Fall 2015 led to a related project: Learning by H.E.A.R.T. This challenge-based approach has been such a great addition to my classes! I'm excited to have them both in place for next year.

Diigo. I've bookmarked lots of items for growth mindset at Diigo, and I'm slowly annotating. A goal for this summer is to start tagging all those materials by theme (curiosity, fearlessness, making mistakes, reflection, etc.). I have also bookmarked the growth cats at Diigo; I need to label those by theme too!

YouTube. Started this summer, I began curating a YouTube video playlist for growth mindset; that is something I think will be really useful for my students (I like to share videos in the daily class announcements). Now that I've put the videos into a playlist, it will make it easier for the students to explore and learn more as I share each one:


Canvas: Growth Mindset Playground. Hoping to share ideas about growth mindset with faculty colleagues at my school, I built a demo Canvas course (we are transitioning to Canvas right now): Canvas.MythFolklore.net. Given how the transition is going, though, I'm not really optimistic that it will have any kind of impact at my school, but who knows... In any case, the course is there if some Canvas discussion does start to take shape online, in addition to the face to face training workshops.

Mindset Zone. To go along with the demo Canvas course, I created a blog: Growth Mindset Zone. I'm still not quite sure how to make good use of that blog; as fall semester rolls around, I'll have a better sense of whether the Canvas thing is going to go anywhere (or not). Then I'll be able to decide if I should just abandon the Canvas part of the blog and treat this as a blog for growth mindset materials for their own sake. Either way is good; I'm just waiting to see what happens!

Twitter. In conjunction with that Canvas course, I made a dedicated Twitter account for growth mindset, and that has been great: OUMindsetPlay. I am doing a much better job of following different mindset-related Twitter accounts this way! You can see that Twitter account in the sidebar of this blog.

Storify. As a result of all the Twitter activity at that account, two months ago I started doing a Storify every week with growth mindset content; I put those at the Growth Mindset Zone blog: Growth Mindset Playground - Storify.

Moving forward... Looking at that list, it is a big heap of stuff, but it has grown gradually, day by day; I haven't really had to carve out time for it because it has accumulated as a result of just a little bit of effort each day. And it's fun! In the coming year, I'll see if it makes sense to carry on with the Canvas course; I'm glad to continue, but if it doesn't get any uptake at my school, I'll stop working on that part of the project. Once I see how that is going, it will be easier to know how to develop the Growth Mindset Zone blog. And, in the meantime, I'll keep adding to the Diigo bookmarks and trying to sort and organize them better, too. I'm excited for what I will be able to have in place for my students next year, and I am really grateful for all their feedback on the project as it took shape last year. Now I just need to keep on growing!





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