Coaching students and colleagues how to troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems in a digital learning environment takes not just skills training or how-to sessions but also a readjusting of the mindset when using technology. In my blog post, Be a Troubleshooter to Transform Your Technology Integration, I talk in-depth about the growth mindset needed with technology integration and daily use for students and educators. Technology changes, new resources, different platforms, usernames/passwords, and bumps along the way are inevitable. The reaction people have to when these bumps along the way occur determines greatly if students and educators push through and succeed with technology integration or give up and stop troubleshooting.
21st Century Skills is an important start place when looking at growth versus fixed mindset as digital education evolves. Looking at 21st Century Skills, taking note of the Learning & Innovation and Life & Career highlights the importance of stamina, creativity, adaptability, flexibility and self-direction it takes to evolve with the technology as well as maintain the stamina it takes to keep up.
The growth mindset focuses on the process of learning with the “fail and try again” being at the heart of deep growth and embracing productive failure as the most important element of success.
While researching how to build stamina for teachers and students, I kept coming back to the idea that educators need to model the growth mindset it takes to approach challenges. The more educators run from using digital resources and technology (because issues are inevitable) the more they end up modeling learned helplessness for our students – exactly what educators are trying to steer students away from! At the heart of this ISTE 3 Coaching Standard 3E, is the word troubleshooting. The Merriam-Webster definition of a troubleshooter is:
a person skilled at solving or anticipating problems or difficulties
Coaches have the opportunity to inspire the stamina it takes to implement new ways of teaching by providing resources that give educators the skills and growth mindset to anticipate problems or difficulties rather than focusing on how to do it ‘right’ the first time. Solving and anticipating problems and difficulties are key aspects to be ready to grow as an educator and meet students in the educational world they are growing up in.
Diplomatic Courier. (2017, Jan. 29). Interview w. Manu Kapur at GTS 2017. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fosOJ_4Fqxk