Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Why Personalize Learning NOW

As part of Connected Educators Month this October, we hosted a free webinar for educators to share and connect online on Tuesday, October 15. We first shared a few slides on the rationale to personalize learning for all learners. We also invited a few of our friends from our Journeys page to broadcast and share their thoughts on personalizing learning.

Click on image or link below to get to the archived webinar:


We use Instant Presenter for webinars because of its ease of use and the ability to have multiple people broadcasting at once while presenting and enabling a chat. Lisa Welch, a K-1 teacher in Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin, joined us to share her journey in the Garden and with her new school KM Explore. 


We started out with Todd Rose's TedTalk about Myth of Average. No one is average but we tend to teach to the average. Then we asked a question and Lisa shared: "The average learner post would be wonderful for educators to show a parent when they ask the question, how is my child doing compared to others?" 

The next slide was on a Gallup Poll on engagement and hope and why engagement goes down as learners get to upper grades. So we shared Students at the Center report "Motivation, Engagement, and Voice" by Erik Noshalis and Michael Nakkula and recommend this report to do a study or action research with your colleagues. The Trifecta of Learning is an effective strategy we encourage you to share. We shared how Respond to Intervention can become Response to Learning. Several educators in one of our 5 W's course came up with this term under the Personalized Learning umbrella. Then Kevin McLaughlin, a Kindergarten teacher from the UK, shared his points of view. (be aware that with several people broadcasting at once, the sync and timing was off a little) but it was way too much fun.


Both Lisa and Kevin shared what their classrooms look like and how young learners learn. "Constant moving and grouping in the classroom." Lisa co-teaches with another teacher and said they removed their teacher desks which were only there to store stuff. Now they have more room. Lisa shared about learning plans and seminars. Kevin shared about Personal Journeys (PJs) and learning zones. They both agreed "bring your passions to the school setting." 

Then John H. Clarke joined us from Bristol, VT where we wrote about Personal Pathways to Graduations and his personal story about Mt. Abraham Middle/High School. He shared that Personal Journeys could be used in high schools. John suggested we have a webinar to focus on high schools because teachers have a more difficult to time working from the child to the content. It seems to be easier in elementary school.


This is just the beginning of conversations. We see how important it is to connect educators and keep the conversations going. John mentioned that the stories are much longer than we thought. We need to follow the stories over a longer period. As technology pushes it forward, we are going to discover the stories and learner voices over the years. "Let the kids tell the stories."


 Slide Show: Why Personalize Learning NOW! Prompts only

Why Personalize Learning NOW! from Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey


We captured the chat for you:

John H. Clarke from Vermont: Hi, Everyone!
Dani Pedrotti from Washington: Barbara - no relation to Bonita Bray in Alberta?
Dani Pedrotti from Washington: hehehe
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: Can you put up a link to the TED talk?
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: No worries - we can all search.
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: Hi Nancy!
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: http://akomblog.org/2013/06/27/the-myth-of-average/
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: The average learner post would be wonderful for educators to show a parent when they ask the question, how is my child doing compared to others?
Barbara Bray from California: Go to our post - Todd Rose's TedTalk is on YouTube http://www.personalizelearning.com/2013/07/design-learning-from-extremes.html
Dani Pedrotti from Washington: Love this...
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Stage 4 in Educator Effectiveness is really about personalizing learning
Joe Jamison from Kelowna, B.C. Canada: Kelowna, B.C. Canada
Barbara Bray from California: from SF Bay Area - sunny and bright here
Kathleen McClaskey from Amherst, NH: Amherst NH
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: I am from Verona, WI
Laura Gunnell from Waukesha, WI: I'm from Waukesha, WI
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Lisa Welch- Wales WI
Dani Pedrotti from Washington:  The NROC Project - non-profit organzation focused on supporting personalized learning to support college readiness efforts (math/English)
John H. Clarke from Vermont: I stick close to Mount Abe High School in Bristol VT
Dani Pedrotti from Washington:  Gig Harbor WA! :-)
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: Can't wait to see you!
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: You were supposed to come see the leaves Barb!
John H. Clarke from Vermont: I think you may have a busy day!
John H. Clarke from Vermont: A lot of sitting.
Barbara Bray from California: competencyworks.org
Barbara Bray from California:Taylor County Schools http://www.personalizelearning.com/2013/05/performance-based-with-zero-dropouts.html
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: I will return...
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: I love the idea of response to learners - it meets the needs of all the students.
Joe Jamison from Kelowna, B.C. Canada: formative evaluation?
John H. Clarke from Vermont: RTL looks wonderful
Dani Pedrotti from Washington:  How do you engage them in discussion about their SCIP's?
Joe Jamison from Kelowna, B.C. Canada: formative assessment
Dani Pedrotti: discussion, observation, etc - assume it's a mix.  just looking for examples from "real world"
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: The model is focused on a positive concept rather than interventions.  Nice
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Our experience has been that the learners who receive intervention REALLY need RTL!
John H. Clarke from Vermont: With RTL, do we really need to pursue the Core?
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: A recent success for us has been the students' use of Diigo.  Their thoughts are public in the group, and other students can really vet resources for co-learners. It might be another example in your cycle.
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: When we did some work with personalized learning last year in our 5th grade classroom, we found if we were doing the assessment as learning than we didn't have any students finish their work and then realize they didn't get the concepts that were being taught. 
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: They also remembered the information after the learning instead of just learning it for the final assessment
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: Please do share!  We really need examples from elementary schools.  thanks!
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: rwteam@kmsd.edu - Lisa Welch
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: Lisa, our email address is lparren@anesu.org.  Please share the docs.
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Will do!
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: It is amazing when you personalize learning that the students who struggled the most in previous learning experiences became some of the best learners in personalized learning
Kathleen McClaskey from Amherst, NH: Hi Kevin
Kevin McLaughlin from UK: Hi Kathleen, good to be here
Barbara Bray from California: Hi Kevin! Do you have mic?
Barbara Bray from California: ageless and gradeless - wow!
Kathleen McClaskey from Amherst, NH: Love ageless and gradeless
Barbara Bray from California:"what kind of learner are you?" to kindergartners - yes
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: LOVE IT!!!
Barbara Bray from California: any questions for Kevin and Lisa?
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: The younger learners are the more they can think divergently!  Let's not take it away!
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: I absolutely love the energy and passion of all of the presenters - and all of the teachers who are working to start personalizing learning.  This is what we have been missing for so long!
Barbara Bray from California: Thank you Laura! We need to do more of this
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Kevin is very right about skills.  
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: It's amazing that so many people think personalizing learning can only happen in the upper grades - especially high school.  And yet here are two people doing personalized learning in the youngest grades.  It CAN be done!
Barbara Bray from California: how do you impart the skills without direct instruction?
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: do either of you use any aspect of flipped learning in your classroom (Lisa or Kevin)?
Dani Pedrotti from Washington: Great session all - need to run.  Look forward to sharing the broadcast with my colleagues!
Barbara Bray from California:: Thanks Dani for joining us
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: We use many programs such as Dreambox, MobyMax and we send Screen-o Matic home that shares lessons.  Sort of like a homemade Kahn Academy for kids.
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: excellent - thanks Lisa
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: We also share videos in the kids e-mail that are videos of themselves modeling reading, writing or math strategies or even us as teachers modeling strategies
Barbara Bray from California:Don't you think the seminar idea can work in any grade?
Barbara Bray from California: Bring your passions to the school setting
Barbara Bray from California: make it exciting and creative - yes
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Kevin, do you use ActivInspire?  If so, I have resources for you!
Barbara Bray from California: Personal Journeys = PJs - did you bring them with you?
Barbara Bray from California: Anyone else want to broadcast with us? You will need a mic with headset
Kathleen McClaskey from Amherst, NH: Any questions for Lisa or Kevin?
Barbara Bray from California: PJs are like Pathways at the high schools
Kevin McLaughlin from UK: Lisa, I do use ActivInspire
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: I love it if you would offer more of these.  It is so helpful to see what others are doing
Kevin McLaughlin from UK: I have to go unfortunately, I've another online meeting at 8!
Barbara Bray from California: Bye Kevin - thank you so much
Kevin McLaughlin from UK: A pleasure
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Thank you Kevin!  I will be in touch!
Joe Jamison from Kelowna, B.C. Canada: Thank you all for sharing. 
Kathleen McClaskey from Amherst, NH: Thank you so much for contributing to the conversation
Kathleen McClaskey from Amherst, NH: Kevin- Please share your email
Kevin McLaughlin from UK: kevindmclaughlin@gmail.com
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: Older kids are totally intimidated when handed their own learning with out previous practice.  Thanks to all of you who are starting it early!
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Lauren, you are right about that! They aren't used to driving their own learning and it almost becomes scary to them
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: Last year when I was working with a 5th grade class, we learned so much about helping one of our students learn who really struggled in the classroom.  Even though the students isn't in a personalized learning classroom any more, we have been able to use so many of the things we learned about her to help her in middle school.
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: They must learn a lot from each other
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: By given her a voice we helped her see how she learned best and now she is able to continue using that voice to help her in other classrooms
Kathleen McClaskey from Amherst, NH: @Laura - What a wonderful story!
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: Thank you so much!
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Yes, meeting you both is on my bucket list!
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: Skype would be fun.
Lisa Welch from KM Explore - Wales, WI: Thank you all.  I really enjoyed this!
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: After 3:30 is good for us
Laura Lindquist from Verona, WI: Works for me
Lauren Parren from Bristol, VT: WE can vary it over time, to include all.

Thanks Everyone! We plan to set up a series of webinars based around different topics that focus on personalizing learning.