Barbara Bray is co-founder of Personalize Learning, LLC, co-author of the book Make Learning Personal, and founder/owner of My eCoach. She is a creative learning strategist who is passionate about writing, bringing creativity and passion back to learning and empowering educators to transform teaching and learning. She focuses on coaching, communities of practice, design thinking, project-based learning and designing learner-centered environments. Barbara uses her site Rethinking Learning to express why and how change needs to happen now.
i am ME. Statements
i am a storyteller. i am a connector.
GETTING TO KNOW BARBARA
What is one thing that makes you unique as a thought leader?
By seeing the bigger picture, I have the ability to take risks and connect with others.
When and why did you become passionate about personalized learning?
Once I realized there needed to be change for both learners and teachers. It is about the learner, it is not about increasing test scores because that is not going to help them with their future.
What about teaching today gives you the greatest fulfillment?
Learners have voice and choice in their learning. They are developing this agency, the feeling that they own their learning.
Please share with us a simple connection where you feel you made a long-lasting, powerful impact on a student.
In a first grade classroom, the students showed me their Personalized Learning Profiles demonstrating how they access information, how they are engaged with it and how they express what they know.
Tell us about a challenging situation that now serves as a great lesson?
Teachers are learners too. I am finding ways to change the model so there is a personal connection for everyone.
SECRETS TO SUCCESS
What one strategy would you suggest teachers in personalized learning environments apply everyday that would result in powerful outcomes?
Build relationships based on trust and respect. Give students voice by including them in decisions you make. When you give them a voice, they are so much more motivated and engaged.
Imagine you are standing in front of a room full of future educators seeking your advice — what are two to three key things they should focus on to ensure success?
Make learning transparent. Change is scary, but working together can result in great opportunities if you give time, flexibility and support.
i am ME.
Can you share one message you want our audience to know?
Get your voice out, it is important to feel you are being heard and valued.