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Personal Interest Projects to Ignite Passion-Driven, Student-Designed Demonstrations of Mastery

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: La Nouvelle Ballroom, Table 5
Experience live: All-Access Package

Participate and share : Poster

Dr. Elizabeth Radday  
A Personal Interest Project (PIP) is an opportunity for students to learn, solve, make, or do something connected to their passions. In this session, you'll learn about how to use an online platform that supports in-person or blended learning to have students complete a project of their own design, while demonstrating mastery of critical "vision of a graduate" skills.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: None.
Topic: Personalized learning
Grade level: 6-12
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.
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
Creative Communicator
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will be able to describe a Personal Interest Project (PIP) and how it promotes intrinsic motivation and heightens engagement for students.
Participants will be able to identify ways that a PIP allows for student voice, choice, flexibility and individualization/personalization.
Participants will understand how the Launchpad Platform supports project development and student independence and can be used for Blended Learning instruction.
Participants will share their ideas for a PIP project in small groups to simulate the PIP process for students.
Participants will participate in a small selection of abbreviated activities to experience a PIP as a student.
Participants will confer with small groups on how PIP can used in classrooms from 6th to 12th grade.


1. Overview of a PIP Project- Learn, Solve, Make or Do Something (2 min)
2. Description of curriculum organization - 3 phases, 4 activities per phase (3 min)
3. Overview of Launchpad Platform (2 min)
4. Intro of 3 ISTE Skills of a Student for presentation (2 min)
5. Audience participation of Learn, Solve, Make, Do activity and partner share, connect to ISTE skill, example student work (5 min)
6. Ready, Set, Pitch activity, share, connect to ISTE, examples (5 min)
7. Lights, Camera, Action activity, share, connect to ISTE, examples (5 min)
8. Curriculum use cases and partner share. (3 min)
9. Q&A (3 min)

Supporting research

The Importance of Personalized Learning - Brookings

Christensen Institute Research on Blended Learning

There is an extensive collection of books and articles on Blended Learning and Personalized Learning including the work of Catlin Tucker, the Christensen Institute, Katie Novak, Michael Horn and others.

More [+]


Dr. Elizabeth Radday, EdAdvance

Dr. Liz Radday has been working in Connecticut Public Schools for the past several years helping design programs for students to meet the "mastery based diploma assessment" requirement - by co-creating hands-on, student designed, passion driven projects. These projects have helped students think about post-high school plans based on their interests and what they learn by following their passions. Dr. Radday has spent two decades in education as a math teacher, learning specialist and Capstone facilitator. Her own passions are giving students voice and choice in their learning and increasing student engagement.

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