Monthly Archives: June 2015

Introduction to Personalized Learning

I have the fortune to have a principal that has been interested in personalized learning and who toured a school in the Milwaukee area that has been doing it very well.  She has inspired me to learn more about personalizing educational experiences and setting academic goals with my students.  I jumped right in this spring and relied upon my understanding of “the CAFE” by Boushey and Moser to help manage the process.  I also had the opportunity to attend an “Introduction to Personalized Learning” workshop last  spring at our local educational agency (CESA 6 in Turtle Lake, WI).  I am excited to share what I have learned with my colleagues over the next few days.  I am including my SlideShare presentation and accompanying notes as a resource for those interested in learning more about personalized learning as well.  I am by no means an expert but I am definitely journeying down the personalized learning path with my students close at hand.

Click on the following link to download  personalized learning notes  that you can use to interact with the slide presentation.

Click  here  to visit CESA 1’s website to explore various videos about personalized learning (both from a student perspective and from that of a teacher).

Are you interested in learning how to identify the core elements of personalized learning?  Click here to visit CESA 1’s website to download the personalized learning honeycomb.  (Scroll to the bottom of the page where it says “downloadable graphic and matrix.)

Brilliantly Blended Learning

Another title for today’s blog post could be “Blending Learning Effectively.”  I have been deeply interested in blended learning for the past two years and I must say that I have come a long way in my understanding of how to craft engaging lessons that will help my students think deeply and learn successfully.

At first, I was reactive in my efforts to flip lessons.  I had a student that was going to be absent for a significant amount of time due to a major surgery.  My principal suggested flipping lessons to help her keep up with the work of her peers.  The only thing I could think of was to tape the lessons that I was teaching the rest of the class and later post them on my classroom website.  It quickly became apparent to me that I was missing something because as I reviewed my videos, I could see that my lessons tended to “wander.” Could I, let along a student, sum up the learning target in 1 or 2 sentences afterwards?

I began to experiment with different platforms to deliver content.  I learned that opportunities to interact to the lesson and draw upon prior knowledge resulted in increased student success.  I learned that students performed better when they had the chance to work in cooperative learning groups.  I used to think that the sky was the limit in my potential to provide individualized instruction for my students with the use of technology.  Perhaps one of the biggest “aha” moments was when I read in John Hattie’s “Visible Learning” book for the first time that individualized instruction has a low effect size (translation-didn’t give much bang for its buck).

I have included some resources here today that I will be sharing with my colleagues that are interested in learning more about blended learning.  One of the most powerful and influential books that I have been reading this year is “Visible Learning for Teachers Maximizing Impact on Learning.”  If you are familiar with Hattie’s work, you will recognize some of the suggested instructional elements in both the SlideShare and the notes to accompany the presentation.


Click on the following link to access notes that support learning activities that go along with this session:  Blended learning notes

Click here  to access examples of K-12 flipped lessons to evaluate.

You’re almost done!  I first delivered this presentation at the 2014 MN TIES Educational Technology Conference with my co-presenter, Mike Henderson.  Click here to access our resources page.  You will find a brochure to accompany the presentation in addition to examples of student lessons.  (Note: the Layar science and social studies activities are time sensitive and are no longer “active.”  If interested in experiencing the lesson through the eyes of a student, just email be at and I will send you current campaigns.)

Enjoy and, as always, if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or comment below.