ISTE20Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Digital Leadership
Summit at ISTE20 Live
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Learner Profile, Backpack and Plan: Helping Discover the Purpose for Learning

Location: W190a

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Monday, June 25, 1:00–2:00 pm
Location: W190a

Barbara Bray  
How do you encourage your students to go deeper and make learning personal? Use Universal Design for Learning to identify strengths, interests and challenges in the learner profile. Create a backpack that includes tools, resources and strategies to guide the development of a plan to discover the purpose for learning.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Google docs
UDL Guidelines
Bring a pen if you want a paper copy
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Personalized learning
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Educational or infrastructure challenge/situation.

Every student is unique, but the curriculum teaches to the average learner. There is no average. How do teachers get to know how each student learns best? Universal Design for Learning® (UDL) provides a framework to personalize learning.

Technology intervention.

The UDL Guidelines provide tools, resources, research, and examples around each of the three principles. Participants will have time to research and discover different tools and resources for their backpack.

Models employed.

Participants will learn about the UDL principles and why it is important to start with the WHY. They will identify why they engage or are motivated to learn, how they process information, and what actions they do to express what they know. They will also learn about "ikigai" and consider what is their purpose for learning or meaning for life.

Instructions activities/strategies employed.

Participants will have access to a Google folder with resources, templates, and examples of tools. They will have time to research resources or add any to the folder. Strategies include individual work and collaborative sharing to discuss findings.

Evidence of success.

Examples will be shared using this method. Participants will be able to add to the Google folder after the session and share what has worked and reflections.


I. Overview (7 min)

A. Roadmap of session and how to find Google folder.

B. Introduce Padlet for questions or resources found.

C. How Learner Profile is your story - what is your story?

D. Selfie time. Find someone you don't know, take a fun selfie, and post on Twitter with #ISTE2018

II. Neuroscience and the Brain (5 min)

A. Brainy Infographic from Students at the Center

B. Overview of Universal Design for Learning® and the importance of starting with the WHY

III. Learner Profile (LP) (8 min)

A. Example LP

B. Make a copy of the template with name, add to folder for copies, and fill out your profile.

C. Pair/share what you found out about yourself.

IV. UDL Guidelines (8 min)

A. Introduce the checkpoints with resources, examples, tools, and research.

B. Research different tools and resources that can support you or your students.

V. Personal Learner Backpack (PLB) (10 min)

A. Example PLB

B. Make a copy of the PLB template with name and fill out any tools and learning strategies that can support you as a learner.

C. Pair/Share what you found that surprised you.

D. Add one resource to the Padlet or Google doc.

VI. Passion and Purpose (6 min)

A. Introduce "ikigai" and why it is used to determine meaning for life.

B. Pair/Share what your "ikigai" might be and how the LP and PLB can guide you to find your "purpose."

C. Whole group share.

VII. Personal Learning Plan (PLP) (10 min)

A. Example PLP

B. Review LP, PLB, and ikigai to choose one goal for your plan.

C. Fill out PLP for the goal with:

- What is your goal?

- How do you plan to meet that goal?

- What concerns do you have about meeting the goal

- What is your timeline?

- What resources and support will you need?

D. Pair/Share your findings.

VIII. Q&A - reviewing questions and comments in padlet. (5 min)

Supporting research

Bray, B. & McClaskey, K. How to Personalize Learning: A Practical Guide for Getting Started and Going Deeper. 2017. Corwin Press.

Bray, B. & McClaskey, K. Make Learning Personal. 2015. Corwin Press.

Continuum of Self-Efficacy retrieved from Bray, B. & McClaskey, K.

Continuum of Voice. Retrieved from

Couros, G. Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. 2015. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

Gerstein, J. (2015, August 9). Today's Education Should Be About Giving Learners Voice and Choice Retrieved from:

Rath, T. Strengths Finder 2.0. 2007. Gallup Press.

Robinson, Ken with Lou Aronica. Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education. Penguin Books.

Rose, T. The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World that Values Sameness. 2016. Harper Collins.

More [+]


Barbara Bray, Rethinking Learning

Barbara Bray is a creative learning strategist who facilitates strategic planning and visioning. She is a writer, speaker, keynoter, instructional designer, coach, facilitator, and changemaker. Barbara manages and writes on Rethinking Learning where she hosts a podcast show with educators and leaders who are passionate about transforming teaching and learning. She is founder/owner of My eCoach, and co-author of Make Learning Personal and How to Personalize Learning. Barbara incorporates design thinking and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to guide the design of learner-centered environments to create a culture of learning that develops self-directed, independent learners with agency.

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