As my first class in the Digital Learning and Leading program draws to a close, it’s a logical time and place to take stock of what I’ve learned so far and where that learning will take me.
Quite possibly the most significant concept in the program for me has been the idea of the fixed mindset versus the growth mindset. In studying this concept, and in figuring out how to present it and advocate for it to my colleagues and students, I feel as though I have been given the words and framework to understand a concept that will revolutionize the way I learn and the way I teach. All the other concepts presented in this course (and the ones that follow) mean very little without embracing the fundamental principle that anyone and everyone is capable of unknown growth. No matter how much choice and ownership students have over the most authentic projects imaginable, if they don’t believe they can learn, they won’t.
I created a Google Slides presentation to convey the mindset idea to my colleagues; the presentation can be found in this blog post. I also plan to modify the presentation slightly for use with my students this fall; the growth mindset is a concept that I want my students to learn, live, and breathe.
In the process of creating my Learning Manifesto, I was able to articulate the educational philosophy and mission that drives what I have done, what I do, and what I hope to accomplish for my students and myself; it is has even crystallized to the point that I have obtained my own domain, meetthemwheretheyare.com, which in the near future will host a more presentational form of this ePortfolio (and associated blog and Twitter feed.) Seeking and addressing such a wider audience is a new arena for me; it is, however, a perfect demonstration of the ownership and authentic learning that the DLL program embodies. There isn’t a much stronger way to assert choice and voice than by running one’s own web presence and establishing an educational and intellectual “brand.”
The final takeaway from the program thus far has been the examination of Professional Learning Networks; in completing this assignment, I was not only able to realize just how many networks and resources I already had at my disposal, but also to discover a vast new wealth of materials and communities. This discovery is self-sustaining; it seems that every resource leads to a web of others. This self-directed and ever-expanding array of materials and connections, of course, is one of the great advantages of digital learning, no matter what level of learner one is.
Where do we go from here? I thought I knew when I started. Now I know that I have no idea yet where I can go, and it’s an incredibly exciting prospect.