Monday, October 27, 2014

It's All about Mindset

Today this graphic figuratively fell into my lap as I was scanning through my Twitter feed.The graphic has been tweeted and retweeted with no citation too many times, but . after searching Google Images, I finally found a reference. Lisa Damour, Teaching Girls to Adopt a Growth Mindset (Shaker Heights, OH: Center for Research on Girls at Laurel School, 2011) or 

And admins too! RT @Primary_Ed: Fixed or Growth Mindset? Great for teachers & students.

If you read my previous post, you might quickly understand why this graphic parallels my Google Hangout experience. Prior to the GHO, we gave lip service about "You know, even tech gurus have had some wipeouts when they've done webinars." And certainly I've seen that happen, but it happened to the other guy, right? 

Remember my being deflated when the Google Hangout wasn't a success? I realize now that I was a victim of Fixed Mindset Thinking. But as soon as the Google Hangout was over, Marsha and Linda were already using Growth Mindset thinking and planning for the future. Marsha asked, "When can we try this GHO thing again? After all, it's just technology, and we're geeks!" It took me a couple of hours to adopt the same thinking. 

What's best about this chart is that it reminds me of a quote from Maya Angelou. "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." So simply said, but such a powerful reminder that we do our best work when we are in the Growth Mindset. The next time something doesn't work, I'll remind myself to take a deep breath and to think of the experience as just a shallow puddle in the pathway of continuous learning.

Deflated But Not Defeated

Remember that old movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? Can you visual the part when Paul Newman and Robert Redford jump into the raging river? Substitute me, and you've got an image of what I did last week.

How I got to that point is a rather long story, but the short version is Linda Gray (Youth Services Director of the Tyler Public LIbrary), Marsha Edney (Henderson HS librarian), and I decided to do a presentation on Building Public Lbrary and School Librry Relationships for the online District 5 and 7 TLA meeting/conference on Saturday morning. A PowerPoint? No problem. Using Google Drive Slides? No problem. Doing it as a Google Hangout? No problem. A recorded Google hangout? Yes. Something new to learn? Yep.

So we created the slides, met in a hangout one night to iron out some details, and then with some directions from the TLA District Chair and YouTube, I learned how to do a recorded Google Hangout. We decided it would be best if we were all in the same room so the three of us met at the Tyler PL at 9:00. We knew bandwidth would be a problem because many people were on the library computers, and there was a big Tyler Rose Festival parade downtown with lots of photographers tweeting photos of the floats; we used an Aircard to overcome that hurdle though. We had everything set  up and ready by 9:30. That included tweeting the link to our GHO (Google Hangout) and sending an embed code to the librarian who could put the link on the conference website. We waited patiently until our time to start at 10:45. At 10:42, Marsha's computer (the one we were using) decided to restart. Thus we lot all our connections, the GHO, and the links since we couldn't connect again to the original GHO). 

Panic, panic, panic, sheer panic on my part because the computer didn't work fast enough for us to make the 10:45 start time. When were were finally up and running and connected to a new GHO, it was 11:00, and we were not broadcasting any audio. Panic again. So we aborted that one. Our allotted (alive) time was up so we decided to create another GHO and record it. We did that and sent the embed link. So it's now posted on the conference website.

When we crawled out of the raging river (remember the earlier reference to Butch Cassidy?), Marsha and I had a two Margarita lunch...something I very rarely do. But we had earned it, right? After the adrenalin rush of panic and disappointment and the calming effects of a Margarita, I came home and sat in fetal position on the patio for a couple of hours. I needed some time to overcome the disastrous morning experience (at least it was devastating to me at the time.) Lots of lessons learned.

So, the end to my adventure but with many lesson learned. After a while I was deflated, but not defeated. I tell you of my epic adventure because the learning never stops for me. While I'm not a fan of the term "lifelong learning," it's true everyone is a lifelong learner, and they don't stop unless they are comatose. In my opinion everyone learns something every day either by design or by accident. Will I do it again? You bet.