As I progress through this program, I’m noticing that I’m adopting a growth mindset mentality. Back in the fall, I stated in my discussion “The Impact of the Growth Mindset”, I know that in the past I would get very excited about a tech tool and force it to integrate it in my classes without even thinking about the content I needed to teach. After reading about growth mindset, I understand that I have to slow down and think about the process, which is exactly what I have learned throughout the course. An individual with a growth mindset recognizes that learning is a process, that their brain will expand, and that feedback is essential to their success. Putting this into practice, I can say that I challenge myself to learn how to engage my students, how to motivate them, how to get closer to those scholars who struggled with the new (online environment) system put in place. Also, now I am able to recognize the difference between the growth and fix mindset. That differentiation gave me the opportunity to recognize myself as a person with a mixed mindset that I used to use a lot of false mindset in my daily practice. I am currently working on shifting my fixed mindsets to a growth mindset. Such a shift will help me in my Apply Digital Learning Program but also in my classes and personal life.
The COVA learning strategy can influence my learning by improving my ability set with a variety of innovations aimed at increasing student participation. When I started this program, my goal was to learn more about technology integration. However, as I advance through the classes, I am not limiting myself to that. I am reflecting upon my own practice, taking risks in the classroom, changing my fixed mindset from “the students are not able to do it” to a more “what plan can I have in place so that I can support my students”. The COVA approach is new learning for me, so it took me some time to analyze each component and figure out how to use it in my own setting. I appreciate the challenge of learning and using new things but I know I have to be careful as to how much I want to actually use in my classroom without overwhelming my students.
The Personalized Learning Networks (PLNs) are becoming an increasingly important part of education. PLNs are a community of people from whom you can learn and develop by sharing ideas and resources. I am a member of many PLNs, but I have to be honest, I have to admit that I do not actively participate in any of the networks that I am a member of. In this course, I learned the importance to be part of, to share, to contribute to PLNs. I believe that I have to work on my mindset to integrate my experiences, my knowledge, to become an active participant in the network. A goal for me is to find networks that support me as I grow as a professional. However, I also want to contribute to such networks. At the beginning of the Applied Digital Learning Program I thought nobody was interested in the experiences I wanted to share. But as I was posting on my blog and people were commenting on them, I realized that my experiences were helpful to others. I will continue pushing myself and sharing my experiences in the classroom and reaching out to others so that I can continue growing as a professional.
Finally, in my Learning Manifesto post I had the opportunity to reflect upon my teaching practice. I realized that change in education takes effort from all stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, administrators, and even policy makers. COVID-19 forced each one of us to make a sudden change that I felt and still feel unprepared for when wanting to accomplish the mission in my school. The process of adapting to the new ways of teaching and learning and meeting the needs of our students at our school will continue requiring considerable commitment from me. These new circumstances forced educators to reinvent themselves. In my specific case, I had to change my teaching approach. Blended learning will increase the engagement in my classes. The approach offers greater flexibility through online education allowing students to study anytime, anywhere from an electronic device. In addition to that, it offers personalized teaching. Not all students feel comfortable asking questions in front of the whole room. The online environment eliminates this fear and improves the learning process for some of my learners which is where giving learners choice in how they present, organize, and structure their ideas to influence others and solve real-world problems and issues is of utmost importance. Through my learning manifesto, I reflected upon the importance of using digital tools to enhance student learning by providing choice and voice when learning another language. I believe that by providing a myriad of ways to accomplish authentic tasks, students will have ownership of their work. As a result, they will feel a sense of pride and success. I believe that if educators teach students how to use the language to create real life experiences, students will develop empathy and expand their capacity to recognize the emotions of their peers. This will give students a voice to be part of the learning community. I believe that teachers can improve critical thinking, a growth mindset when teaching a second language using real life experiences which will engage students in learning.