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Empower Learners With the UDL Lens: Build a Backpack for Agency

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Monday, November 30, 2:00–2:45 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Andelee Espinosa  
Kathleen McClaskey  

How can you empower every learner to develop agency? Discover how your learners can use the UDL lens to develop learner profiles to share the strengths and challenges of their learning and build a personal learning backpack of tools and apps so they can become agents of their own learning.

Audience: Teachers, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
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: Attendees should bring a laptop or tablet for this session and have a Google account.

**Would like to have round tables for planned activities and discussions.**

Topic: Personalized learning
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: 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.
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
  • Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:
- Develop a Learner Profile to identify and discuss strengths, challenges, preferences and needs of a learner they know using the learning sciences.
- Build and decide on a Personal Learning Backpack of tools, apps, technologies, and skills to enhance a strength of support a challenge.
- Initiate a Personal Learning Plan for their learner to set a learning goal and action steps to develop the skills to enhance a strength of support a challenge so that their learner can develop agency in their learning.


I. Introduction and Session Goals (5 minutes)
1. Session and personal goals for the session

II. Review the UDL Lens of Access, Engage and Express for participants to create a Learner Profile (15 minutes)
1. Create a Learner Profile of a learner they know with one strength and challenge for Access, Engage and Express. (Participants will use templates located in Google Docs)
2. Pair - Share: What did you discover about the learner that you used for the Learner Profile that you did not see before?

III. From the Learner Profile, build the Personal Learning Backpack (20 minutes)
1. Decide on one strength or challenge that the learner has and decide on tools, apps or resources that can support a challenge or enhance a strength. (Participants will be given a resource list that will include tools, apps, and links to tool/app training)
2. Pair - Share: What tools or apps did you decide on and why?

IV: Create a learning goal for the Personal Learning Plan (15 minutes) 1. Design one goal and action steps to enhance a strength of support a challenge in a Personal Learning Plan. 2. Pair - Share: What goal and actions steps did you decide on and how could this help the learner to develop agency?

V. Review and reflect on their personal goal; point to evaluations (5 minutes)

Supporting research

Bray, B., & McClaskey, K. (2015). Make Learning Personal: The What, Who, WOW, Where, and Why. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Bray, B., & McClaskey, K. (2017). How to Personalize Learning: A Practice Guide for Getting Started and Going Deeper. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Clarke, J., & Frazer, E. (2003). Making learning personal: Educational practices that work. In J. DiMartino, J. Clarke, & D. Wolk (Eds.), Personalized learning: Preparing high school students to create their futures (pp. 174–193). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

McClaskey, K. (2015, October 15). Personalize Learning: Discover the learner in every child.

Meyer, A., Rose, D. H., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal design for learning: Theory and practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing.

Grant, K. & Perez, L. (2018) Dive into UDL: Immersive Practices to Develop Expert Learners. ISTE.

The Top 5 iPad apps for Struggling Readers and Writers - YouTube By Diana Petschauer

The Website of Luis Perez.

Personalization and UDL: The Perfect Match. ASCD Educational Leadership, March 2017:

The UDL Lens: Empower Teacher and Learners to Transform Education. Education Reimagined, Pioneering Issue 20, 9/8/16

Empowering Learners with The Learner Profile. Post with Infographic:

Personal Learning Backpack: Empowering Learners with the UDL Lens of Access, Engage and Express.™ Post with Infographic:

Personal Learning Plan: Empowering Learners to be Future Ready Post with infographic:

More [+]


Andelee Espinosa, Elmbrook School District

Andelee is passionate about meaningful inclusive practices, UDL, Personalized Learning, utilizing Learner Profiles to help students better advocate for themselves in the classroom and conducting student-led IEP meetings. She enjoys integrating activities that promote collaboration, critical thinking and communication in her classes. In addition to case managing freshman and sophomores at Brookfield Central High School, she is part of a Co-Service team that designs meaningful and accessible experiences in Chemistry and Biology for all learners. Outside of school, Andelee is an avid knitter, is learning to naturally dye yarn and enjoys spending time in her butterfly garden.

Kathleen McClaskey, Empower the Learner

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