Laura Gibbs

Randomization for Content Re-Use

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Apr 17, 2017

This weekend I had fun creating a Padlet where I can collect comments from my students' blog posts this semester about growth mindset. Details in yesterday's blog post:

A Padlet of Student Voices 


padlet screenshot


The thing I like best about Padlet is that is insanely easy to add new content, which is great, and in this grid option the newest content is also on the top row, which is also great.


But what about all the old content...???


I realized that there was so much great content there that I wanted to re-use and re-surface that content. After all, how many people are going to scroll to the bottom of the Padlet? Nobody, seriously nobody, is going to scroll down to the bottom. Which means that all the old content is not going to get the re-use it deserves.


This is clearly a case for a... RANDOMIZER


So, I used the same spreadsheet where I was collecting the comments to build a little randomizer using  Building a text-only randomizer like this is super-quick; it took less than 10 minutes, and it will be easy to update periodically as I add new comments.


Then, I was able to deploy the randomizer in some useful places:


ONE. I added it below the picture of the random growth mindset cat in sidebar of the daily announcements blog, where I called it "Student to Student Advice" as you can see here:


blog sidebar screenshot


TWO. I added it to the sidebar of the growth mindset blog where I called it "Advice from My Students" as you can see here:


blog sidebar screenshot

THREE. And I also created a simple Canvas page in my Growth Mindset Canvas Resource Course as you can see here:


Canvas course screenshot

I'll probably figure out some other good places to deploy this randomizer next semester (I know I want to weave these into the growth mindset challenges, for example), and I am so excited that I have a way to reuse my students' contributions from this semester, sharing them with future students.


In today's class announcements, I thanked the students for that, and I'll be thanking them again as I update this widget each week, adding new comments from the blogs. Then, in the summer, I'll add comments from students writing about growth mindset in past semesters (I have those blog posts archived).


I don't know about you, but I get such a boost when I read my students' comments about their learning process and what they have figured out along the way. Learning to learn: to me, that's the most important thing any students can accomplish because then they are ready to keep on learning, not just in school. Growth mindset is a framework that really helps students to reflect on their learning and to generalize about it while looking forward. I'll be talking more about that in the CanvasLIVE on growth mindset this week... and just getting ready for that presentation has been prompting me to reflect and grow too, as you can see! 

5 Ways to Weave Growth Mindset into Your Courses 


I'll finish up with this fabulous quote from the famous Roman philosopher Seneca, Non scholae sed vitae discimus. We are learning not for school, but for life. (Photo is from a school in Poland.)


This life-long learning thing is not a new fad. It's been around for thousands of years. :-)


school sign


I'm pinging Gerol Petruzella and Lane Worrall for the Latin. :-)