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How to Personalize Learning

How to Personalize Learning
A Practical Guide for Getting Started and Going Deeper

Foreword by Luis Perez

Additional resources:

December 2016 | 208 pages | Corwin

HOW to Personalize Learning

This practical follow-up to Bray and McClaskey’s first book, Make Learning Personal: The What, Who, Wow, Where, and Whybrings theory to practice. Teachers will find the tools, skills, and strategies needed to personalize learning and develop self-directed, independent learners with agency.

Discover how to get started and go deeper by building a shared vision that supports personalized learning using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. Also included are:

  • Tools and templates such as the Learner Profile, Personal Learning Backpack, Personal Learning Plan, as well as tips for lesson design and PBL
  • Lesson and project examples that show how teachers can change instructional practice by encouraging learner voice and choice
  • QR codes and links to the authors’ website for electronic versions of tools, templates, activities, and checklists

Create a powerful shift in education by building a culture of learning so every learner is valued. 

"If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on what personalized learning is and how to implement it, while being inspired and gaining ideas to implement immediately, this is definitely the book to read!"
Diana Petschauer, Assistive Technology Professional, CEO
AT for Education & Access4Employment, Wolfeboro Falls, NH

“Barbara and Kathleen present well-tested strategies for personalization within a coherent framework. This highly practical book forms a reliable foundation for empowering a community striving to make schools work for all learners.”
John H. Clarke, Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont

Looking for extra resources? Check out the Personalize Learning website for more content!
About the Authors
1. Build a Common Language
Define Personalized Learning

Shared Vision

Shared Beliefs

2. How Learners Learn Best
UDL Principles and Guidelines

Access, Engage, and Express

Develop the Expert Learner

3. Develop Learner Agency







4. Discover the Learner in Every Child
Who I Am as a Learner

Learner Profile (LP)

Personal Learning Backpack (PLB)

Personal Learning Plan (PLP)

5. Personalize Learning for a Whole Class
Class Learning Snapshot (CLS)

Class Learning Toolkit (CLT)

6. Lesson Design With All Learners in Mind
Four-Step UDL Lesson Review Process

UDL Solutions and Strategies

Lesson Design

7. Delve Into Deeper Learning
Project-Based Learning

Key Understandings and Learning Standards

Driving Questions

Meaningful and Relevant Focus

Assessment AS Learning

Reflection Makes Learning Visible

8. Learner Agency Across the Stages
Stages of Personalized Learning Environments (PLE) and Learner Agency

Crosswalk of Learner Agency Across the Stages of PLE

9. Create a Culture of Learning
Nurture a Positive School Culture

Build a Culture of Learning

Redesign the Learning Environment

Connect the Dots

Create a Rationale to Personalize Learning



"Many teachers are familiar with UDL, and they may want to try it in their classrooms, but they just don’t know how to get started. With this book, educators don’t just learn about UDL, they do UDL as they complete a number of activities designed to get them thinking about their most deeply held beliefs about learning and ease them into a new role as the “lead learner” in their classrooms."

Luis Pérez, Inclusive Learning Consultant
St. Petersburg, FL

"If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on what personalized education is and how to implement it, while being inspired and gaining ideas to implement immediately, this is definitely a book to read!"

Diana Petschauer, Assistive Technology Professional, CEO
AT for Education & Access4Employment, Wolfeboro Falls, NH

"As the title suggests, Kathleen and Barbara have prepared some really solid, practical “how to” guidelines for educators looking to understand and achieve the promise of personalizing learning."

Steve Nordmark, Chief Academic Officer
Knovation, Inc., Cincinnati, OH

"This book will provide you and your team the steps towards personalising learning for your students. It involves your input throughout with activities that are built around personalised learning principles."

Kevin McLaughlin, Kindergarten Teacher
Old Mill Primary School, Leicester, United Kingdom

“Your learning journey about creating and sustaining personalized learning environments just became so much easier! Kathleen and Barbara’s field guide provides a clear and well signposted  path forward to transforming any learners journey. As an experienced educator and professional development consultant, I found Barbara and Kathleen book highly readable, incredibly practical and full of useful strategies to move educators from just discussing ideas about personalized learning to actively implementing and growing a personalized learning culture.”

Greg Alchin, Inclusive Design Consultant
Alchin Consulting, Orange, New South Wales, Australia

"This guide provides actionable steps for all educators, from the busy main office to the crowded classroom, to develop the culture, expertise, and strategies needed for truly personalized learning. Once implementation is rolling out, Bray and McClaskey provide guidance for professional reflection and growth along the way. Personalization provides benefits to all stakeholders and this book helps all stakeholders understand their roles and how they will grow through the experience."

Kerry Gallagher, Digital Learning Specialist and Director of K-12 Education
St John's Prep,

"Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey are leaders in how to personalize learning for all learners. How to Personalize Learning: A Practical Guide for Getting Started and Going Deeper breaks down personalizing learning in a way that not only makes good sense, but that makes it easy for educators to do what they know is right for their learners. This easily followed guide helps educators build on their learners aspirations, talents and interests to access, engage, and express learning by building on the learner’s strengths and challenges. This guide helps educators give earners are given agency in their own learning while meeting standards. This guide will help classrooms come alive with engaged, excited learners whose learning will not only meet, but go beyond standards. This is not a 'new' or 'novel' fad, but a common sense approach that incorporates proven pedagogues and technology in a logical, effective way that is based on neuroscience and UDL principles. The many examples of successful personalized learning cultures will inspire and shape the future of teaching and learning."

Linda K. Taber Ullah, Coach and Instructor
Personalize Learning, LLC, Krause Center for Innovation, and Foothill College

"If you are a teacher who has wondered if it is really possible to personalize learning for all students, this book is for you! Grounded in a shared vision and beliefs, Bray and McClaskey provide practical steps to guide teachers through the process of discovering the unique learner in every child. Furthermore, the reader is coached on how to personalize for an entire class, with practical advice, activities, and hands-on tools. This is more than just the typical 'education needs to change' book. This is practical guide for teachers to actually make changes to positively transform education as learners become owners of their own learning."

Jon Tanner, Director of Technology and Personalized Learning
Oregon School District

"How to Personalize Learning is the book every school needs their teachers to read. The authors take teachers on an enlightening journey where they reflect on how they uniquely learn. This book also is a guide with practical ideas and many resources to help teachers make learning accessible and engaging to all students. This book is for the teacher with the big heart who wants to ensure every student leaves wanting to continue their learning journeys."

Shelly Sanchez Terrell, Teacher, Speaker, and Author of the 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers

"How to Personalize Learning: A Practical Guide for Getting Started and Going Deeper is a rich resource for any in-service or pre-service teacher, school or district administrator, special educator or parent. This practical guide steps the educator through a comprehensive, yet individualized plan for meeting the needs of any learner. In my 25+ years of working with teachers and with school administrators, what I most appreciate about this guide are the numerous case studies and tangible examples of how the practices work in the real world."

Dr. Cynthia Sistek-Chandler, Associate Professor
National University, Sanford College of Education

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ISBN: 9781506338538