CHAPTER 9. Personalized PD to Empower Educators

Flipped Book Study: Watch before reading to enhance your learning.

Audio Outtakes: Supercharge your book study with these shareable chapter-by-chapter audio clips with colorful commentary. Connect with Brad to schedule him to join your book study or university class "live" on Skype, GHO, or Voxer.

Water Cooler Questions:


  1. Is there a difference between professional development and professional learning?

  2. What are the characteristics of PD that actually increase the capacity of participants?

  3. How might PD look if educators were further empowered to own their learning?

Additional Listening/Viewing:


  • What is a Badge? A brief (3 minute) overview of digital badges and how they can support anytime, anywhere learning. 

Additional Blog Posts:


Beware of providing too many PD options in your pursuit to personalize professional learning. Focus is key!



The factory model of PD leaves a lot to be desired. Planning PD that actually empowers educators is possible.

Additional Books:


  • Personalized PD (2015) by Jason Bretzmann, Dr. Brad Gustafson, Kenny Bosch, Brad Currie, Kristin Daniels, Laura Conley & Ben Wilkoff


  • Leading Professional Learning (2015) by Thomas C. Murray and Jeffrey Zoul

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Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 


Connect on email at:

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This TED-inspired talk introduces a real-life renegade, and unpacks the basic tenants of a digital-age pedagogy.



Personalize your learning and double-down on your leadership! Complete at least one of the mini challenges at the end of each chapter to earn your Renegade Leadership badge.

#RenLead on Twitter

Double-Down Challenge:


Personalize your learning by selecting from mini-challenges at the conclusion of each chapter. Most chapters offer at least two different options to personalize your learning. Choose the mini-challenge that you would like to 'double-down' on, and then click HERE to track your progress on the Worlds of Learning digital badging platform.

  • Challenge 9.1: Let Students Lead to Build Capacity

Identify a skill-set or area of passion that your students possess. Invite them to share before a PD session or empower students to actually lead the learning.

  • Challenge 9.2: Empowered Learning via Passion-Based PD

Dave Grohl followed his passion with little formal training. Plan a staff learning experience that provides your team more autonomy. Try accounting for different interests, readiness levels, and learning preferences. Whether you decide to flip a meeting or plan an un-conference...strive to create passion-based PD.