Friday, August 31, 2007

Act first, ask questions later?

It is after midnight on Friday, August 31st (I guess that makes it September 1st) and I should be sleeping. My 3 and 5 year old children are going to appear beside my bed tomorrow morning to wake me up. And yet, my brain is buzzing. It's that time of year. On Tuesday the new school year begins. I'm always crazed at this time of year, but a new job adds a whole extra layer of frenzy. I've never worked with high school kids before. I'm both excited and terrified - neither emotion is particularly suited to a good nights sleep.

I'm also thinking - I've got lots of ideas, but it is a new job so I've got to pace myself. I would like to set up a private social network just for the faculty and staff at the school using ning. I think the classroom 2.0 site on ning is an amazing resource. I would like to recreate that kind of community on a smaller scale. As a new teacher, this space could really help me to get to know and connect with the other teachers in the school. It could also serve as a great resource for teachers to discuss and share ideas and questions.

In the past I have often used the "act first ask questions later" approach to trying out new technologies. But, when starting a new job, that probably isn't the best plan. I've sent a note out to my administrators to see what they think. If they approve, you'll be hearing more about how it goes. Cross your fingers for me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A New Job

This summer I was unexpectedly offered a position as the Instructional Technology Specialist at Wellesley High School (A public high school in Wellesley, MA). As much as I have loved working in Brookline, this is an opportunity to learn and grow that I could not pass up. I will continue to use this blog to share my thoughts on the Power Of Educational Technology. I hope you will keep reading and commenting as I start this new chapter in my professional life.

Thanks so much to everyone in Brookline who has supported and collaborated with me over the last three years!

Happy New School Year!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Changing Your Mindset - Part Two

Blogging with a Growth Mindset

As you know from my last post, I just finished reading Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. In Mindset, Dr. Dwecks explains her work on the "fixed" versus "growth" mindset. A person with a fixed mindset believes that their intelligence is fixed - there isn't anything he or she can do to change it. A person with a growth mindset believes that if they work hard and challenge themselves they will succeed and grow. Fortunately, those of us with fixed mindsets can change and learn to embrace a growth mindset.

As I have been encouraging people to try blogging, a lot of the resistance that I hear is a fear of writing. People will say to me, "I'm not a good writer," or "I'm a slow writer." This is a fixed mindset attitude. The more I write the faster and better I get. Blogging itself is improving my writing and my confidence in my writing. The only way to get better is to try - and maybe fail - but keep trying.

The beauty of blogging is that your entries should be short (just like attention spans). You don't have to write a lot. Just write a little bit about what you are thinking. Keep at it, don't give up and you will see that your writing will improve. Good writers are made not born. Open your mind to the possibility!