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Tools to promote growth mindset

Help students put in effort, accept criticism and celebrate their peers’ successes.

3 min read


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This is the second installment on how to support a growth mindset in the tech-enriched classroom. If you missed our first post, you can find it here.

The concept of the growth mindset can be described this way: The brain is like a muscle. With ‘exercise’, it can grow and change over time. A person’s perceived academic, talent, or interpersonal skills are NOT fixed at one level, but with effort, can be stretched and developed. With different learning strategies and conscientious practice, anyone can improve their skills and abilities.

Technology can aid in developing a student’s growth mindset. There are five characteristics of the growth vs. fixed mindset. The five are Challenges, Obstacles, Effort, Criticism, and Success of Others. In the April post, I described tools that support Challenges and Obstacles (aka Persistence). Here, I’ll briefly describe technology tools that teachers can use to support their students’ growth mindset for Effort, Criticism and Success of Others.

Effort. Adobe Spark Suite is one tool that can help support effort in the growth-mindset classroom. The platform lets students create and share animated videos, webpages, images and portfolios. It comes with copyright-friendly images and an Inspiration gallery to get great ideas. Their effort will shine as they create fun, detailed videos, web pages and more.

Criticism. Students have trouble accepting criticism. Some formative assessment tools can help students adjust to accepting constructive feedback as part of their learning experience. Quizizz, EdPuzzle, Kaizena, Kahoot and Plickers are just some of the tools designed to do this.

Success of others. Every classroom should celebrate success of others. Understanding that others are learning and moving forward can be a powerful motivation tool for students. Video is a great way to show learning and demonstrate success. Several video tools that can be used for screen capture are available. One excellent one is Screencastify, which is a free Chrome app. Others choices (some free) with a variety of features include Screencast-o-matic, Quicktime’s built-in screen capture, Camtasia (Windows and Mac), Explain Everything and Educreations. These tools provide students the ability to show what they know, and the output can be easily shared on a webpage so others can see their growth.

Gene Tognetti is the founder of Agile Educational Technology Consulting. He provides professional development to educators on topics including effective classroom technology integration, growth mindset, 1-to-1 blended learning, and technology planning. Gene is a recovering administrator, and has been a technology coach, and a middle school teacher. Connect with Gene on Twitter at @gtognetti1.

Tech Tips is a weekly column in SmartBrief on EdTech. Have a tech tip to share? Drop us a line at [email protected].


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