Growth Mindset Videos

I’ve been collecting more and more resources on developing a “Growth Mindset.”  Today I wanted to share with you some videos that could be used to teach students about the value of embracing challenges and finding a way to learn from mistakes.

A little bit more advanced (vocabulary-wise) than the book, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, this video from SciShow, “Your Brain is Plastic,” shows the importance of continuing to learn and making connections in your brain.

“Growth vs. Fixed Mindset” has great graphics that highlight the main differences between these two mindsets.

This 10 minute video of Eduardo Briceno at TEDx Manhattan Beach would be good to show older students, parents, and teachers.

Here are some more mindset resources, and a link to the post I did last week  about a lesson I did with my 1st graders about mindset.

Revisiting TouchCast

Two students present their TouchCast on 5 Strange Animals

Two students present their TouchCast on 5 Strange Animals

Last August, I did a post on a new, promising iPad app (also available for use on PC) called, “TouchCast.”  In my post, I offered some possible uses for the app, which allows you to create videos with special interactive features, in classrooms.  I’ve been noting mentions of it on social media, and gauging the interest in the world of education.  Slowly, I’ve observed educators beginning to use it.  Users seem to be very happy with its added features, which you can read about on my previous post.

I recently received an e-mail from TouchCast that showed that it has definitely ramped up support for teachers since the last time I reviewed it.  You can download a PDF of a training presentation for teachers from their website here. You can also e-mail the Touchcast crew at if you are interested in participating in one of their pilot programs.  In addition, TouchCast is looking for great examples of educators who use the app, offering EduCast Pioneer badges to those who create exemplary TouchCasts. (E-mail them if you know of an educational TouchCast that should be considered.)

There are two main uses that I see for TouchCast in schools.  One is to use it for “flipping” the classroom.  Here is a great example, by Packwoman, that was featured in the recent TouchCast e-mail I received.  Here is another teacher video on Bloom’s Taxonomy.  The other educational use of TouchCast is for student-created videos.  Many are using it for student newscasts, as it has a green screen feature.  But other students, like this one, are using it to present research or field trip information.  You can see more educational examples on the Educast Channel on TouchCast.

If you have iPads in the classroom, and students who are ready for something a bit more advanced then using the native Camera app for making videos, you should definitely investigate the free TouchCast app!

If You’ve Never Failed, You’ve Never Lived

It’s fun to look at the stats for this blog to get an idea of what interests people.  By far, some of my most popular posts are the ones that list some of my favorite inspirational videos for teachers and for students.  Of course, that has motivated me to continue to keep looking for more videos; obviously people are hungry for any kind of spark they can find to encourage themselves and others.

I recently came across the video embedded below, and thought it would go well with a discussion about mindsets.  Each of the people cited in the video displayed a Growth Mindset when faced with obstacles.  Do your students know each name and his or her story?  Can your students name more people who should be added?  Can your students give examples of times they, themselves,  overcame failure?

Telegenic Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break

screen shot from The Snowman

screen shot from The Snowman

Kudos to my daughter, who helped me come up with the title for this post!

So, let’s face it.  Despite our best efforts to keep our energy up, we need a bit of down time now that this week is nearing its close.  Here is a collection of short videos to help you catch your breath.

Kid President – If you haven’t seen this young man’s collection of videos, you are in a for a real treat.  Be prepared to do a little dance and to stretch your smile muscles.  These are some of his latest:

Winter-themed Animations – I have featured some of these on the blog this season, but they bear repeating (no pun intended – okay, it’s only intended if it makes sense).

Videos about Being Kind to Others (You can find more inspirational videos for students on my Pinterest Board.)

We’re in the home stretch now!  I hope some of these links help you make the distance :)

Just in case you missed my other “survival” posts this week, here they are:  Creative Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break, Logical Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break, and Physical Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break.

Too Bad I’m Not Young and Don’t Have Magical Powers :)

By far, the most popular posts on this blog have been the ones on my favorite Inspirational Videos for Students and Teachers.  I have compiled lists of additional videos on my Pinterest boards with these titles, and I am, thankfully, always finding more to add.  I was delving deeper into the Just Start blog that I referenced in an earlier post about the Zen Pencils Design Challenge, and found this video from Madison Public Schools, “What Makes a Good Teacher.”  It’s interesting to hear the perspectives of students of all different ages who seem to agree on a lot of the same criteria for good teachers.  I wish Wordle had a feature where you could play some audio and it would make a word cloud showing the traits that were repeated the most!  (Fun and Inspiring would definitely be two standouts!)

I was happy to hear only one child said a good teacher needs to be young.  (Well, only one child who made the final cut of the video, anyway!)  Another child seemed pretty adamant that magical powers are a necessity.  “Athletic” was another attribute that is questionable in my case.  One student intrigued me by mentioning her teacher’s use of “Homeworkopoly”, which is rather specific, but sounds like something I would like to try.

My favorite quote, though, was from the girl who said that a good teacher would, “help me embrace my inner self.”  In the end, I hope that each of my students feels that way about me – regardless of my age, inability to run a marathon, or complete ignorance of any helpful charms, potions, or spells. ;)

How to Tell a Magical Tale

There is no doubt that augmented reality will play a huge part in education during the next decade.  You can already see it beginning to burgeon as you read blogs and educational articles.  Apps like Aurasma, Zooburst, ColAR, Spacecraft 3d, and AR Flashcards, make something that seemed to be merely science fiction into a classroom reality.

In the video embedded below, Marco Tempest uses augmented reality to give a presentation for TED.  His use of “magic” certainly makes his story engaging, but I actually connected to his message more than the illusions.

Tempest compares magic to successful jokes: “In that respect, magic tricks are like jokes. Jokes lead us down a path to an expected destination. But when the scenario we have imagined suddenly flips into something entirely unexpected, we laugh.”

This is what I would like to share with my students.  Too often, they believe that they are expected to provide the predictable, to write stories that follow the same conventions, to regurgitate what has been modeled for them.  They do this when they create presentations, too.  I want to encourage them to attempt to be unpredictable.  Make your reader or audience believe that they know what is going to happen, and then completely surprise them.

I think this is useful in teaching, as well.  Too often, we fall into our own structured routines.  Though some students need predictability, they also delight in a bit of wonderment.  In this way, we can capture their attention, and make lasting impressions.  Augmented reality can help us with this, but it is just one of many tools (and not all of them are technological) that we can use to create a novel experience that will capture the attention of our students.