STEM BITS & Personalized Learning

Ohio Valley and the Athens/Meigs ESC/ SE Ohio PL Specialist

Sept 15, 2023

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Starlab- Side View Animation 4k

OSLN #STEMorbitsOhio 2024 Design Challenge

The official kickoff for the statewide #STEMorbitsOhio design challenge has happened and this might be the best one yet!

Did you know that THE Ohio State University is part of designing the future Starlab and potentially will have ground control here in Ohio? This is an exciting time for Ohio and this is an opportunity for students of all ages to pitch their ideas to the Engineering team designing Starlab. Follow the link below.

If you want more info, see the link for a Zoom mtg on Oct 2 that will give an overview.

Statewide #STEMorbitsOHIO Sticker Design Challenge

Here is an easy way to use get involved with the statewide design challenge. As you begin to explore the possibilities with your learners through the #STEMorbitsOhio design challenge, have them create a sticker that captures and represents the 2024 design challenge. Follow the link below.

Seven Project Based Teaching Practices

Project based learning can be overwhelming for teachers....

How do I cover my content?

How do I plan for everything?
Where do I find everything?

All of that is fine....BUT you are taking away the work from your learners. Instead, ask yourself this question:

What decisions am I making that I could have the learners make? We overplan and we take a lot from our learners. See the teaching practices from the Buck Institute below. If you want to find out more, go to

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Virtual Field Trip to a Soy Bean Harvest (Eleme ntary)

OSLN will provide a virtual field trip to a Soybean harvest. Check out the link below.

Solar Eclipse Resources

The 2024 Solar Eclipse will be the first total eclipse since the 1800's so this is a huge event and one that not everyone gets to witness. Here is a resource from ODE.

AOMC Manufacturing Support Center and How AOMC

The Appalachian Ohio Manufacturing Coalition (AOMC) is a non-profit 501 c3 located in Marietta Ohio that is about supporting advanced manufacturing in SE Ohio. Over the past few months, they have developed the AOMC Manufacturing Support Center that is designed to provide training on various advanced manufacturing equipment and the process.

This facility is open to working with High Schools and adults to provide training that can provide the qualifications and experience to allow individuals to go into high demand advanced manufacturing positions.

The Ohio Valley ESC is currently working to see how we can connect our region with AOMC to allow our High Schools to connect their students with some of the training they offer. AOMC can also help connect students with internships and potential careers.

For more information, please reach out to the ESC and contact me at

Who We Are - Appalachian Ohio Manufacturers' Coalition

Real World Problem Solving Opportunities for HS Math

Looking for a way to integrate research and problem solving into your math class at the HS level, check out the "Modeling the Future" Challenge. It is a free virtual challenge with scenarios and resources. This would be a great resource for a statistics class or any class where you can use actuarial process (risk analysis for insurance). If you follow the link below, you can go to sample scenarios and determine if this is something that would work for your learners.

From reviewing...this would even fit into an agriculture or engineering class where you could look at agricultural insurance or liability. Check out the link below.

START S.O.L.E. Info and Training Session Scheduled

Would you like to be able to create opportunities for inquiry learning, then START S.O.L.E. could be your answer. Register for a info and training session on September 19, 2023 by following the link below.
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Potential Book Study

I would like to begin a book study using the book, Personalized Learning: Student-Designed Pathways to High School Graduation.

If there is interest in a book study that would start the first week of November, I will arrange for graduate credit or contact hours for participants. I have read the book and I appreciate the overview of how one high school as used personalized learning to create graduation pathways while also providing a process guideline for making our schools more personalized and engaging to students. If this is something that interests you, please complete the survey below. Only cost would be the cost of the book that I got for $10 off of Amazon (Unless you wanted credit)

Personalized Learning: Flexible Learning Environment

When we think of Flexible Learning Environment (FLE), most will think of the physical space as being flexible: seating, use of the space around the room, sit or stand, etc... However, flexible learning environment goes beyond the physical space.

FLE involves the space, the use of time, and where the learning takes place.

Indicators of a Flexible Learning Environment from the Ohio Personalized Learning Framework include:

2.1 Learners have balanced opportunities to work independently and collaboratively to ensure that their individual learning needs are met.

2.2 Learners are provided with access to appropriate tools and resources that allow them to deepen their learning beyond the school day.

2.3 Learners have voice and choice in how they use flexible and accessible learning spaces.

2.4 Learners and educators co-construct classroom agreements so there is an equal investment in the way learning interactions are structured.

At the classroom level, how can you use these indicators as a guide to create an FLE. Start with 2.4...How can you empower your learners by co-structing agreements on what learning interactions look like? Is this expectations for the learner and the teacher (facilitator)? Who is responsible for what? What does independent work look like? Can students be listening to music through their Earbuds and have access to their phone if they prove they can still be productive? These are things to consider...Empower your students to be responsible for their own learning. 2.2 discusses access to appropriate tools? If we are not 1:1 or even if you are, can your students take laptops home, especially if they do not have access to one? All things to consider and/or challenge the current practices. I have included an article on FLE's from the SMART Foundation.

Personalized Learning: Learner Driven 1.3 Learner Profiles

Personalized Learning is about creating a learner driven classroom or approach to education. Unfortunately, our current system is driven by an assessment and the assessments really do not care about a student's interest. We have to change that and one way to begin is through developing Learning Profiles.

The personalized learning framework's first component is Learner Driven. Learners become active drivers of their own learning pathway through goal setting and creating a path to accomplish their goals. Indicator 1.3 includes:

"Learners and educators collaborate to develop profiles that provide a narrative of their assets, barriers to learning, needed supports and future career goals.

So how do we do this and what does it look like in a primary classroom with 20-25 students as compared to a HS classroom where the teacher might see 150 students in a day.

First, remember, we are making the transition to Learner Driven. So, how do you engage your learners to develop their own learner profile rather than thinking we have to do 150 profiles?

Let's start with what could be included and an example:

1. Academic Strenghts/Weaknesses:

2. Barriers to Learning

3. Aptitudes and/or Career Interests

4. Personal Background Info

5. Tasks they enjoy

6. Current levels on ongoing assessments such as MAP, I-Ready, etc...

There is no right or wrong profile...empower your students to identify their strengths and get to know them beyond their academic test scores when it comes to grouping for differentiation. This can be a powerful practice for both the students and the teachers.

Examine how you currently gather information regarding your learners. What assessments are you using? How about an interest inventory? Are you involved in Strengths Finder? YouScience?


Make it even simpler...have your kids create their own Learner Profile. Ask them to write about what they prefer to do in terms of learning. I have provided my own personal example of information that I know about myself and included info from YouScience and Strengthfinders. Again, they do not need to be ellaborate adn there is no right or wrong answer.

Another option would be to use a program like Canva and provide a template for your learners by sharing your own learning profile.

Disclaimer: I am being vulnerable here and sharing; however, when we are vulnerable with our learners, we build trust.

If you want more info on Learner Driven and creating learner profiles, reach out to me or any of the PL specialist across the state for support.

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Creating Student Learning Profiles
Differentiation and Literacy: Student Profiles

What is Personalized Learning?

Personalized learning is a learner-driven approach to instruction that empowers students to take ownership of their learning. Using this flexible approach, educators help students:

Overcome obstacles by engaging the learners to take ownership in their learning and plan together with their teachers to meet their needs.

Codesign authentic learning pathways that prepare them for future success.

Accelerate learning through evidence of learning and feedback and a system of mastery learning.

To learn more about Personalized Learning and how you can engage your students in authentic learning, the link below will take you to the Ohio Personalized Learning Framework.

Supporting Personalized Learning Across SE Ohio

While employed through a collaborative grant effort by the Ohio Valley and the Athens/Meigs ESC, I serve the majority of SE Ohio as a Ohio Personalized Learning Facilitator and would like to connect with teachers, principals, and other administrators to see how I can support your current work and potentially enhance your current practices through a Personalized Approach. If you would like support in any of the following, I would be happy to assist. If you have other issues/challenges or a new initiative you would like some additional support for, please contact me and I will support you and work to connect you with resources.

Chad Miller, Personalized Learning Specialist, SE OH