Personal Learning Paths

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A personal learning path is an approach that emphasizes learner-specific goals and objectives, as well as preferences. It also refers to the path that a learner elects on their own after assessing knowledge on a subject. 

Students should have personal learning paths that encourage them to set and manage their individual academic goal.

For a personal learning path to be truly successful for students, they must feel as though they are in control of their experiences. The teacher allows them to choose which activities to complete, how they will receive the content and be assessed. The key is to make the learner feel like they have a direct say in the learning process, rather than telling them how, what, and when they are going to learn. So in a classroom of 30 students how do you as a teacher control this learning and ensure that all your students are successful?

Your district may want to invest in a learning management system that provides content and tracks the learning of a student. They may allow students to enroll in online learning courses that adapt to the learner. These are costly and many districts cannot afford to go this route.  

There are numerous ways for teachers to assist students to create their own personal learning paths. There are very inexpensive ways to do this as well as commercial products that districts can purchase. In this course we are featuring free resources. 


1. Students need to set goals and objectives for learning as well as create periodic milestones for progress. There are several resources for creating plans and checklists. Briefly look at each of the below resources.

Resource Name

 Age Level





Lino is an online sticky note service that is used to post memos, to-do lists, ideas, and photos anywhere on an online web canvas. It allows you to collaborate with others. Click on Give It A Shot to try this free online tool. You can also see a lino on How To Lino. Lino is available as an app for multiple platforms.




Padlet is a virtual wall that lets you post ideas and topics like a bulletin board. You can then share the images, videos, documents, and text to and from multiple devices. These can easily be shared on social network sites, by email, or embedded on a webpage or blog. Others can subscribe to your Padlet page.




Trello is a community board you set up where you can put notes, questions, and to-do lists for others to read and to respond. It is available as a web application, an iPad and iPhone app, and an Android app. Many of the features are outlined on this tutorial Trello board.


2. Students can learn by viewing videos and listening to podcasts. Check out at least two of these resources. 


 Resource Name

 Age Level


Teacher Tube

Teacher Tube


A safe educational video community for students, teachers and parents

PBS Learning Media

PBS Learning Media


There are thousands of digital resources to choose from here. (Videos, games, audio, photos, lesson plans and more)




Check out the YouTube for Education page. You can create your own channel and download videos to use in your classroom. Be sure to follow the copyright and fair use rules covered earlier in Be Legal and Fair. Check out this handout.

iTunes U


iTunesU is a portal of educational content in both audio and video formats available for play using the iTunes media player. Content includes lessons, course materials and more. Over 600 universities have active iTunesU sites, and distribute their content publicly at the iTunes Store. To access iTunesU, launch and search through iTunes.

50 Educational


This is a listing of 50 educational podcasts from NPR to Grammar Girl. 


3. Assessment is extremely important in assuring student success. Students need some form of direction and feedback. Feedback needs to be timely as well as constructive. Assessment can take many forms. Check out the sites below for ideas for assessment. 

a. Edulastic was launched in 2014 and has personalized powerful assessments for students. There are two versions, a free version, or an enterprise version for districts. Teachers can create customized next-generation assessments with items from publishers or from their own curriculum. They can choose from drag & drop, sentence response, graphing and more than 40 other technology-enhanced question types. Like Quizalize, teachers will receive a report showing where they can adapt instruction. 

b. Next check out Quizhub. There are 100's of interactive quiz games for students in many different curricular areas. The site is subscription based, but students can play the games for free by clicking on them. 

c.  There are many interactive practice sites for students. They can be used for practice, remediation, formative or summative purposes. To check out additional resources go to Evaluation & Assessment 21Thing 17.

4. The resources above are just the tip of the iceberg. Resources will continue being developed to assist in creating personal learning paths. In the 21 Things course we test out each resource and provide those that we think are tried and true.

For your assignment in this section, choose one resource from each section above that would be helpful as you go through your own learning path. Share the resources with your instructor that you would use to assist in your own learning path. 

Click here to move on to Competency Based Progression

Additional Articles and Resources for Personal Learning Paths

7 Tips to Create Personal Learning Paths in ELearning

Coming Era of Personalized Learning Paths

Student Profile: A Personalized Learning Experience

36 Educational Blogs to Energize Your Teaching


Addressing the ISTE Standards•T:


1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity a,b,c,d;

2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments a,b,c,d;

3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning a,d;

4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility b

5. Engage in Professional Growth and leadership c






1. Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback;

2. Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers;


3. Summarizing & Notetaking;

4. Assigning Homework and Practice