Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Continuum to Develop Expert Learners

An expert learner is a learner who is self-directed, self-regulated, motivated and engaged to learn. They have a purpose to learn something they are interested in. They are responsible and own their learning and monitor their progress. However, this doesn't just happen overnight or even all the time. Plus, learners may not be an expert on every concept, strategy or skill. So what we did was create a continuum to develop expert learners that provides the journey learners of all ages go through to build expertise.
When the learner includes their voice and has opportunities for choice, this changes how they interact with the content, the teacher, and each other. The teacher can still be directing the learning but can invite learners to share their ideas and voice their opinion. The teacher can also provide multiple methods, tools and strategies for learners to access information, engage with the content, and express what they know and understand. This is what we call a Stage One Personalized Learning Environment.

The research paper, "Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice" by Eric Toshalis and Michael J. Nakkula from the Students at the Center explained in their spectrum on student voice oriented activities is that they can start articulating their perspectives as a stakeholder in their learning to directing collective activities. They can move from data sources to leaders of change. Most student voice activity in schools resides in expression, consultation, and participation. The goal is for learners to have a voice that moves to partnership, activism and leadership roles.

Volunteering, opinions, creating art, celebrating, complaining, praising, objecting
Being asked for their opinion, providing feedback, serving on a focus group, completing a survey
Attending meetings or events in which decisions are made, frequent inclusion when issues are framed and actions planned
Formalized role in decision making, standard operations required not just invite, student involvement, adults are trained in how to work collaboratively with youth partners
Identifying problems, generating solutions, organizing responses, agitating and/or educating for change both in and outside of school
Co-planning, making decisions and accepting significant responsibility for outcomes, co-guiding group process, co-conducting activities

When the learner has a choice in what they are learning especially if it is something they are passionate about or interested in, they jump in and sometimes get lost in the task or project. This is called "flow" and you can see and hear the engagement. The room changes. Learners want to share and talk about what they are learning in one corner. In another silent area, there might be a learner fixated on a book or something they are reading. They are also in "flow" and lost in the text. When the teacher opens the door to allow voice and choice, it opens the door to noise and what Chris Edwards called "messy learning." It is not predictable. This is where learning is becoming personal to the learner.

When learners pursue their passion or interest, they are intrinsically motivated to learn. It is something they want to learn. Bell schedules or grade levels don't work as well in this type of environment. Learners are not only in the "flow" and engaged in learning now, they are totally immersed.
Time is the variable. Learning is the constant.
Fred Bramante

We asked Kathleen Cushman to share what kids say about school and what motivates them. Through her research and the 8 Universal Secrets of Motivated Learnerskids want to have a voice in their learning. They want to be heard. They want to learn by doing and building. They want learning to be relevant. We need to ask our kids and listen to them. When kids are motivated, they are engaged and enjoy the challenge. The next thing that happens is they take ownership of their learning. 

Learner-centered environments offer active and collaborative learning where learners are able to generate questions, organize inquiry projects and monitor their own products and progress. Chris Watkins is a reader at the University of London, Institute of Education, in the London Centre for Leadership in Learning and participates in the Campaign for Learning’s ‘Learning to Learn’ project. His research is on learners driving and owning their learning. Teachers have been taught to manage and control the learning environment. To encourage learners to own and drive their learning, teachers' roles need to change. 

  • The more structured we make the environment, the more structure learners need.
  • The more we decide for learners, the more they expect us to decide.
  • The more motivation we provide, the less they find within themselves.
  • The more responsibility for learning we try to assume, the less they accept on their own.
  • The more control we exert, the more restive their response
    (Watkins, 2009)

When you see this list above, think about yourself as a learner. Traditional teacher-centered environments direct the learning and control the environment. If someone tells you what and how to learner, how do you feel? 

Just imagine if you could learn something you are interested in, passionate about, and find it is your purpose. When you pursue your purpose, you tend to self-direct your learning by setting goals and planning how you will meet those goals. You do this, because you believe in this purpose. When you work toward a goal you really believe in, you self-regulate your learning and monitor your progress. You persevere to learn more. You actually learn by trying, failing, and trying again. Failure is not an option. It is about developing agency and owning your journey.

When this happens, you become expert learner. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The 5 W's of Personalized Learning eCourse

Fall 2014 Section - 5WS115

Webinars start Thursday, September 18th every other week until November 13th and additional activities. Activities continue until end of November. [For many of our international participants, this series is available the next day your time.]
Thursdays 2014. [1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/6 - 3:30 PDT, 4:30 MDT, 5:30 CDT, 6:30 EDT] on Fridays International participants - See more at: http://www.personalizelearning.com/p/blog-page.html#sthash.qJrLrzDh.dpuf
Thursdays 2014. [1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/6 - 3:30 PDT, 4:30 MDT, 5:30 CDT, 6:30 EDT] on Fridays International participants - See more at: http://www.personalizelearning.com/p/blog-page.html#sthash.qJrLrzDh.dpuf*
5W's of PL eCourse - Section 5WS115 - FULL 
Fee: $319     
[Email us if you would like to be put on a mailing list for another section of our eCourse]  
Thursdays 2014. [1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/6 - 3:30 PDT, 4:30 MDT, 5:30 CDT, 6:30 EDT] on Fridays International participants - See more at: http://www.personalizelearning.com/p/blog-page.html#sthash.qJrLrzDh.dpuf
Thursdays 2014. [1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/6 - 3:30 PDT, 4:30 MDT, 5:30 CDT, 6:30 EDT] on Fridays International participants - See more at: http://www.personalizelearning.com/p/blog-page.html#sthash.qJrLrzDh.dpuf*
The 5 W’s are the What, Who, Wow, Where, and Why to Personalize Learning and includes what is and what is not personalized learning, how learners learn best, the process using the Stages of Personalized Learning Environments (PLE), how teacher and learner roles will change, and why you need a common language and rationale for personalized learning when transforming teaching and learning. Collaborate with other educators in a Community of Practice. 

Times for synchronous sessions:
Thursdays, 9/18, 10/2, 10/16, 10/30, 11/13
[3pm PT, 4pm MT, 5pm CT, 6pm ET] The next day for most of our international participants.

Fee: $319 for 30 hours of PD or

2 Graduate Credits from Plymouth State University for an additional fee.

The all NEW 5 W's eCourse includes five webinars, online asynchronous discussions, forums, blogs chats,  and websites for each session with research, resources, examples, models of Personalized Learning Environments, and participation in a Community of Practice. The webinars and chats will be archived for participants especially for those in different timezones. Many of our participants join as teams from their school or organization so they can continue the conversations at their site.  

Session #1: What is Personalized Learning? (90 min)
We will be introducing the Personalization vs Differentiation vs Individualization chart so you understand the differences around the terms and review the research around those terms. You will be asked to provide your take aways of the research and take a position on what is and what is not personalized learning.

Session #2: Who are your Learners? (1 hr)
To transform learning for all learners, it is important to know who your learners are. We will review the neuroscience behind learning, review learning theories around personalized learning and how this concept is not new. We will provide an understanding about how learners learn best using Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and introduce the Personal Learner Profile and Class Learning Snapshot.

Session #3: Wow - Teacher and Learner Roles Change! (1 hr)
Learn about the process of the The Stages of Personalized Learning that helps teachers dip their toes in personalized learning and reflect on their own learning. Understand how teacher and learner roles change and share stories of learner voice and choice. We will provide examples and stories from teachers and learners about these changing roles and the importance of their reflections and collecting evidence of learning.

Session #4: Where is Personalized Learning happening? (1 hr) 
         Visit virtually flexible learning spaces, transformative models, global perspectives, and hear stories from schools and districts who transformed learning with opportunities for learners to have a voice and choice. Learn about CBAM to discuss your concerns and hopes about personalizing learning.

Session #5: Why Personalize Learning? (1 hr) 
Learn why it is important for learners to become self-directed, self-monitoring, independent, expert learners. Understand assessment as learning and the rationale behind personalizing learning. Connect the dots of your initiatives under the personalized learning umbrella.  This will culminate with your 60-second speech on why you believe we need to personalize learning and your plans for the coming year.

          We offer a discount to your school or district for 5 or more attendees.  

Contact us if you would like us to set up the 5 W's eCourse for your teachers and administrators or would like your own 5 W's eCourse for your organization.

 Fall Series starts 9/18 - Section 5WS115 - FULL - [Email us if you would like to be put on a mailing list for another section of our eCourse]  
Fall 5Ws Series 5W115 will start in September
Th. - 9/18, 10/2, 10/16, 10/30, 11/13 [3pm PDT, 4pm MDT, 5pm CDT, 6pm EDT] The next day for most of our international participants. 
Fee: $319 

What people are saying about the 5 W's eCourse

"I can't tell you how much this course has made me think much deeper into my practice and how though I am familiar with and use personalized learning in my room, there is so much more to learn and grow from. This course is well worth the time and provides great collaboration!" Lisa Treml Welch, K-1 co-teacher at KM Explore, Wisconsin 

"I loved the way the course flowed and provided a deep dive into what personalized learning is with a lens on the learners. The background information, theories, models and digital resources were invaluable to understanding the 5-W concepts of Personalized Learning. The webinars and discussions provided opportunities to interact with the presenters and other participants. I appreciated the choice of activities, which were engaging and really fun! I was inspired and motivated throughout the course and truly felt this was a personal learning experience!  Lori Roe, Instructional Technology Specialist, Cape Henlopen School District, Wilmington University

"This was an excellent overview to help me understand what personalized learning is. I am at the point where I need help designing the infrastructure of a personalized learning classroom. Resources, in terms of sample standards based report cards, how to collect/store/document evidence of learning, and organizational systems that have worked for others are what I need for my next steps. I am very excited about personalized learning and will be teaching a multiage personalized learning class next year!" Haley Brisky, 4th grade teacher, Sugar Creek Elementary, Verona Area School District, WI

"I LOVED that this class was webinar based, allowing numerous staff to watch, learn, and discuss together. It was so beneficial and enlightening to chat with other educators, whether from the same school/district or from another state or even country! We had the opportunity not only to learn from Barbara and Kathleen, but other educators. The collaboration piece was ideal. I hope there are opportunities for more Personalized Learning classes like this?!?!" Andrea DeNure, 2nd grade teacher, Netherwood Knoll, Oregon School District, WI

"The readings were very helpful. The first readings on the research of personalized learning were quite long, but informational. I really liked putting PL into practice by completing a redesign of my room as well as doing learning profiles for some of my current students. Stemming from taking this class I was able to go and visit a personalized learning school for a day. This was a great add on to the class and I felt it was very beneficial for me to see PL in action! I would highly recommend school visits to other 5W's participants! I liked that this class was district wide, so we could hear about what was going on in different schools and grade levels in the chat. I am so happy I took this class and I know others will be too!" Molly Lawry, K-1 teacher, Country View Elementary, Verona Area School District, WI