PD when you want it!
These six steps are a process that can help teachers move to a Stage One PLE with
lessons that include learner voice and choice.
Step One: Understand Who Your Learners Are and How They Learn Best
Learn to implement
and lead with technology
through ISTE’s NETS-
based online courses.
Teachers can determine each learner’s needs by using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles (see “Universal Design for Learning,” page 17) to understand
the learner’s strengths, challenges, aptitudes, interests, talents, and aspirations.
UDL has often been connected to special education, but it is a framework that applies to all learners who have variability in their learning.
UDL was originally designed for teachers to better understand their learners.
But learners can also use UDL principles, with simplified language, to understand
who they are as learners and how they learn best. For them, we use the following
Access = multiple means of representation
Engage = multiple means of engagement
Express = multiple means of expression and action
To design their personal learner profiles, learners determine:
•;How;they;prefer;or;need;to;access and process information
•;How;they;like;to;engage with the content
•;How;they;prefer;to;express what they know and understand
UDL helps teachers understand all the learners in their classroom. And once the
learners understand how to use UDL principles to discover how they learn best, they
will be able to drive and own their learning.
To grasp how this all works in a classroom, consider Jared, who is a third grader. The
teachers helped Jared design this Personal Learner Profile based on how he accesses
information, engages with content, and expresses what he knows.
Jared’s Personal Learner Profile
Strengths, Interests Challenges
Good spatial ability, can interpret graphs
and charts, likes music
Difficult time focusing on the text, trouble
organizing and taking notes
Comfortable with Google Docs and the
internet, likes to come up with new ideas
Frustrated when writing ideas down
on paper, cannot sequence what is
happening in a story
Artistic ability, likes to draw, likes taking
pictures and building things
Not able to write or speak descriptively,
does not know how to formulate a good
Jared’s learning preferences and needs are related to his learner qualities, which are his
strengths, interests, and challenges. For instance, he prefers information in visual form.
Because of his challenges, he needs images or screen captures that walk him through
studies or reads.