Thing 1 (Week 1): Growth Mindset (A Tool for Our Journey)


Although we are here to explore, experiment and grow, it will require a bit of dedication and determination to keep moving through this course -- to persevere through technological hiccups and glitches (may they be minimal and solvable!) as well as the competing pressures of incredibly busy lives and schedules.

Each "Thing" in this course includes an Introduction, Discovery Exercise, Task... To complete each "Thing," you'll work through all parts of the Discovery Exercise AND complete all parts of the Task, typically reflecting on your experience in a blog post. It is helpful to read over the whole of each "Thing" before completing the Discovery Exercises and Tasks, so that you know where you are headed.

Ready to get started? Let's do it!

Discovery Exercise: Don Your Growth Mindset

A little introduction to (or refresher on) the power of a Growth Mindset is a great launch point for this course. "In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities." (from, What is Mindset?)

View the video below (~6 min) to hear Dr. Carol Dweck share an overview of fixed-vs-growth mindsets.

Here is the totally-worth-printing graphic that Dr. Dweck refers to:


To complete this exercise, you will need a working microphone. After viewing the Growth Mindset video above, please leave an audio (or video) comment on the Voicethread below sharing how you feel about Growth Mindset in general and/or how you feel a Growth Mindset may be important for you in completing this course. Depending on when you complete the task, you should find that others have already begun leaving comments -- take a few moments to listen to others' thoughts!

DISCLAIMER: Do not spend more than 15 minutes attempting to leave a Voicethread comment! If you give it a try and it doesn't work for you, move on. Check with your coach or a colleague if you can, but please, please don't spend hours frustrating yourself.

SIDEBAR: Voicethread is an amazing creation and sharing tool with almost limitless possibility for classroom application. Learn more here. Want examples? Look here and here.

(If you are unable to view the Voicethread above, try this direct link AND/OR try viewing this page in another browser - Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer. It's also possible that you need to update your browser's Flash player.)

‡ Instructions: How to register for and leave a comment on a Voicethread:
  1. Click the "Sign In or Register" button on the presentation above and register as instructed. Ignore the Educator link for now -- you can always upgrade later. If you already have a Voicethread account, just sign in!
  2. Click the Comment button, then click Record. (If asked to allow Voicethread to access your microphone, click Allow).
  3. Start talking (Don't be nervous! You can cancel and re-record as many times as you like.) Your comment is about how you feel about Growth Mindset in general and/or how you feel a Growth Mindset may be important for you in completing this course.
  4. Click stop recording when you are finished. You will hear a preview of your recording.
  5. Click Save (or Cancel to start over). Your comment will appear on one side of the slide.

⌘ TIP: Voicethread recording works better if you don't have a bunch of webpages or windows competing for your computer's resources. Close everything but the page/tab containing the Voicethread.

Stretch Task (OPTIONAL, but more fun for everyone!):
Upload an image, a.k.a avatar, preferably of your actual self to personalize your Voicethread comment. Please remember copyright if you use a picture not-of-yourself.
my avatar