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4 Essential Mindsets for Personalized Learning Environment Design

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Tuesday, June 25, 11:45 am–12:45 pm
Location: Ballroom B: Level 3 (access from escalators in Registration area in Grand Hall on Level 2)

Lindsey Blass   Rebecca Hare  
Technology and flexible learning spaces allow us to design personalized learning experiences, but physical materials alone won’t shift practice. See how leveraging four mindsets -- equity and agency, process over product, pull vs. push and addition by subtraction -- creates the conditions and culture that empower students as unique and self-driven learners.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees need a Google account to make a personal copy of the digital mini-portfolio
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Innovative learning environments
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will identify mindsets that create the conditions and culture for personalized learning.

Participants will explore reference tools for both teachers as designers and administrators and coaches to support implementation and easily replicate the practices associated with the mindsets at the classroom/school site level.

Participants will engage in hands-on exploration of the 4 Essential Mindsets for Learning Environment Design.

Participants will connect to the Equity and Agency mindset through making a personal connection to a student (or subgroup of students) they have struggled to reach.

Participants will apply the Addition by Subtraction mindset through engaging in a virtual learning journey and analyzing classroom spaces and alignment to student-centered design.

Participants will experience the pull vs. push mindset in a blended learning vs. traditional direct instruction simulation.

Participants will explore the Process vs. Product mindset through a visible thinking exercise and iterative feedback protocol.

Participants will create a digital portfolio in Google Slides to document their learning experience and engage in a simulation of setting and monitoring progress towards goals.

Participants will explore reference tools for both teachers as designers and administrators and coaches to support implementation and easily replicate the practices associated with the mindsets at the classroom/school site level.

Participants will set a SMARTE goal to carry out their learning back in their school or district.


:00-:10 - Introductions & Framing: Partnership between the presenter team for SFUSD, implementation by 42 pilot teacher, research and findings through partnership with Stanford University

:10-:15 - Understanding the “why” behind the 4 Essential Mindsets for Personalized Learning Design. Introduce the Google Slides digital portfolio that participants will use to set and monitor their own goals during the session.

:15-:25 - Hands-on application of Mindset 1: Equity and Agency
Driving questions:
How can you design with equity at the forefront, ensuring all students are met as individuals?
How can you empower your learners to be autonomous and self-driven?
Reflection activity focused on identifying a student (or subset of students) that were challenging to reach

:25-:35 - Hands-on application of Mindset 2: Addition by Subtraction
What can you remove to create opportunities that amplify learning?
How can you eliminate the distractions that affect learning?
Viewing pictures of learning environments, participants identify elements that amplify and detract from learning.

:35-:45 - Hands-on application of Mindset 3: Pull vs. Push
Driving Questions:
How much information are we pushing at students and how much are we pulling from them?
How can we employ powerful questions instead of providing answers?
Side by side interactive comparison of a direct instruction content delivery lesson vs. a blended approach.

:45-:55- Hands-on application of Mindset 4: Process vs. Product
How do we create growth mindsets and celebrate growth over time?
How do we focus on making learning visible and build in feedback loops?
Visible thinking and TAG (Tell me what you like, Ask a question, Give advice or a suggestion) activity

:55-:60 - Closing/Next steps for attendees-
Resources provided
Call to Action: Attendees set a SMARTE Goal (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, time-bound, and equity driven) for leveraging the 4 Essential Mindsets for Personalized Learning Environment Design in their current setting

Supporting research

How do 21st Century Skills Connect to SEL

Clever Classrooms: Summary Report of the HEAD Project (holistic Evidence and Design)

Optimal Learning Spaces: Design Implications for Primary Schools

Visual Clutter Research

The Impact of School Environments: A literature review

The Neuroscience of Classrooms

More [+]


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Lindsey Blass, SFUSD

Lindsey Blass is the Personalized Learning Environments Program Manager for San Francisco Unified School District. Serving the largest, public, urban school district in the Bay Area, Lindsey develops systems and processes to leverage technology and learning environment design to promote academic and socio-emotional growth for all students, with an emphasis in reaching historically underserved student populations. As Adjunct Faculty for Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College, the Director of the Computer Using Educator (CUE) Blended and Online Lesson Design Symposium, and a Google Certified Innovator, she is a leader in the field of educational technology.

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Rebecca Hare, Clayton Schools

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