Monday, June 20, 2016

Resources and Things to do for Summer Learning

Tonight's #plearnchat is an example of a PLN at it's finest and that's when sharing ideas, resources and conference tips in order for educators to grow as learners and push their thinking. Educators need time to replenish their teaching arsenals, be introduced to fresh ideas and learn from one another during the summer when they have time to ponder learning. It's the perfect time for educators to grow as learners so they can best encourage their learners in the fall.

You might be asking yourself why conduct a chat devoted to sharing resources?

Mark Levine @LevineWrites

The field of education is a garden and every educator has a pack of magic seeds to share.

Carol Frey Reinagel ‏@MrsReinagel

Notice and Note: Nonfiction; Choose to Learn, Learn to Choose. Innovators Mindset for sure. Grit

Shelly PhD ‏@raspberryberet3

Tips at conferences: I always have a copy of my day; where I'm going, title of sessions; do research on presenter. Have Qs ready.

Tonight's PLN did not disappoint. If you're looking for a good read, look no further and check out what our PLN is reading, plus tips for conference go-ers, inspiring educators to follow, and their favorite blogs and articles.

Congratulations to Spiri Howard for winning our book, Make Learning Personal.

Spiri Howard, @itsmespiri, is a Gifted and Talented Teacher and ELA Curriculum Coordinator at Commonwealth Charter Academy, a K-12 cyber and blended learning environment. She is passionate and committed to learner development by establishing productive learning environments and utilizing project based learning techniques. Spiri strongly feels infusing technology into curriculum design and instruction is vital to the development of learners into 21st century thinkers. She is also a PBS Local Digital Innovator 2016.

        Check out Spiri's blog: fromthecyberside

Save the Date

Our next #plearnchat (Make PBL Personal)
Monday, July 11th at 4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST and 7pm EST

We archived the entire #plearnchat about Summer Learning below for your convenience and as a resource.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Updated Stages of Personalized Learning Environments (v5)

We updated the Stages of Personalized Learning Environments (PLE) to version 5. You are probably wondering why we updated it again since we recently changed it to version 4 this February. While finishing our next book, How to Personalize Learning to be published Fall 2016, we realized that we had to make even more changes to the Stages of PLE. When we shared version 4 with several groups of teachers, they gave us great feedback including moving some of the rows so they were in different order.

In versions 4 and 5, we brought in how a learner uses voice and choice when they create their Learner Profile (LP) and Personal Learning Plan (PLP). We changed some of the terminology in our book and wanted to align the chart with the information in the book. This version will also be available on the inside of the back cover of our new book.

Stages of Personalized Learning Environments (PLE) version 5 from Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey.

When the teacher understands how each learner learns best by referring to their Personal Learner Profile (PLP), it validates them as a learner and gives them a voice in their learning. We wanted to share how the teacher and learner roles change through the stages using specific tools and strategies.

We look forward to your feedback on this new version and welcome your comments. If you have questions or would like permission to distribute or make copies of this new version of the Stages of PLE, please write us at

Monday, June 6, 2016

Motivating Conversations about Motivation

Tonight’s #plearnchat examined our Continuum of Motivation that we created around our beliefs and research concerning motivation and its impact on the learning process. This continuum depicts what moving from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic might look like as learners progress from teacher-centered to learner-driven environments.

Our goal as educators is to move learners out of the Instrumental stage because motivation and creativity do not thrive from rewards and punishments. Instead we want learners to have an intrinsic drive to learn for their own sake. 

Our questions for our PLN centered around the four steps in this continuum: Instrumental, Social, Achievement and Self-Actualization. 

All of our questions addressed how motivation impacts the learning process.

  1. How does motivation have an impact on the learning process?
  2. How does learning only for an extrinsic reward affect learning?
  3. How do you encourage someone to learn if they don’t care or just want to fit in with the group?
  4. Why is it important for learners to develop a growth mindset so they believe in themselves?
  5. How can learners setting their own goals motivate them to learn?
  6. How do you encourage self-actualization so learners are invested in their learning?

Our most integral conversation was about how to encourage learners to learn if they don’t care or they just want to fit in with their peers. Here’s what our PLN had to say about this question on apathy:

Jen Hegna @jenhegna

First of all Learn what? Can you connect their interests? I also find doing things that matter helps trigger motivation.

Nancy Donaker @donaker_7

Voice and choice allows students to make decisions of learning personal and must work with their likes and passions.

d ryer @dryer83

Enthusiasm is contagious and explain/show how the learning is authentic in their life-no matter what age.

Margaret Mariella @MargaretMariel2

School culture sets the tone. Schools create their own mindset regarding rewards.

Shelly Vohra @raspberryberet3

Students need to be exposed to a variety of topics thru different types of literature/media to find out what they are curious about.

Here's a few resources that were shared about apathy:

As we shifted our conversation toward guiding learners to move from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation some thoughts were:

Pam Hubler @specialtechie

Intrinsic motivation is what shines the light on intelligence. The smartest person with no motivation still won't go far.

Mrs. White @RaRaPenguin

External rewards puts learning in box. No creativity, passion or personal meaning/drive so it fizzles out eventually.

David Buck @dbuckedu

Setting one's goals exhibits self-efficacy, a major factor in learning motivation. If I contribute to the goal, I engage.

Congratulations to Carol Frey Reinagel for winning our book, Make Learning Personal.

Carol Frey Reinagel, @MrsReinagel, is a fifth grade teacher at Strawbridge Elementary in Virginia Beach Public Schools. Carol promotes learner led learning, is a Nearpot Certified Trainer, a Google Certified Teacher, and is currently seeking National Board Certification

"Power of positive thinking. An old idea with merit.
If you don't believe in you, how can I? Building self-esteem is vital."

You can read more about Motivation now in our blog post at Personalize Learning: Continuum of Motivation: Moving from Extrinsic to Intrinsic. We would like to give a special thank you to Sylvia Duckworth @sylviaduckworth for designing the graphics for the continuums.

The Continuum of Motivation and the other continuums we created to define moving to agency will be featured in our new book, How to Personalize Learning, to be released Fall 2016.  It is now available for pre-order.

Save the Date

Our next #plearnchat (Summer Learning)
Monday, June 20th at 4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST and 7pm EST.

We archived the entire #plearnchat about Continuum of Motivation below for your convenience and as a resource.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Continuum of Purpose: Fostering a Meaningful Life

The purpose of learning is about learners being prepared for their future and reaching their fullest potential as lifelong learners. This means that they have a voice with the confidence to express their ideas and opinions so they are heard and taken into account in any situation.

Continuum of Purpose TM by Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on work at * Graphic design by Sylvia Duckworth.

Establishing a clear purpose for learning encourages a desire to increase a deeper understanding of that purpose. In stating a purpose, learners can make their expectations for learning clear. Purpose goes beyond what we listed under the other continuums because the learner is identifying a challenge or problem based on something that they are passionate about. It is more than pursuing their purpose. The whole sense of purpose is bigger than self. When you have a purpose, it has a broader reach, is self-fulfilling, and gives you a meaningful and purposeful life.

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
John F. Kennedy


Conformity is when learners match their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to the other learners in the class. Learners tend to follow orders and are more concerned with what their peers believe. They feel peer pressure from the majority of the group. This can be called “groupthink.” The only purpose they have is similar to the group purpose or other extrinsic factors like grades and being accepted by the group.


Self-Awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability for learners to recognize that they are separate from others. Learners seek to learn more about who they are as a person by having a clear perception of their personality, strengths, challenges, interests, talents, and aspirations. They also understand how other people perceive them and create opportunities to change behaviors and beliefs. They are just starting to recognize their hopes and dreams as the first step in determining what they may want for their life.


In the Discovery phase, learners search for what matters in life for them. The learner is open to trying new things and taking risks so they can pursue and discover their passion. When they realize that they can take control of learning around their passion, they are intrinsically motivated to investigate everything they can about it.

Making a Difference

When learners find a problem or challenge that they are passionate about, this is where empathy can come into play. The learner looks beyond their own self interests so they can foster a meaningful life. They want to make a difference by finding a solution to a problem and tackling it. This gives them a sense of purpose in the world. When learners have a clearly stated and understood purpose, then they have the foundation for the process in building concepts, skills, and information. They want to learn more because it is something they are interested in and passionate about. When they do this, they may find their purpose or their purpose may even find them.

"Go with your strengths and interests so you find 
your passion to discover your purpose."
Barbara Bray


Thank You to Sylvia Duckworth @sylviaduckworth ( from Crescent School, Toronto, Canada for designing the graphic of the Continuum of Purpose 4/12/2016.

*This page including the chart was created by Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey of Personalized Learning, LLC (c) on 4/12/16 and published 5/8/16. For permission to adapt, distribute copies, or to use in a publication, contact Personalize Learning, LLC at

Other Continuums moving to Agency