Crafting PLE

The Art of Creating Personalized Learning Environments

Penn-Griffin Edition - October, 2016

Now that students have laptops in their hands, you may be thinking, "Now what?" You may be wondering what tools are available to you, and how you can make the most use of this technology. But are you ready for that? Are your students ready for that?

School culture, social contracts, and relationships with students were emphasized at the beginning of the school year. Now we're hurtling towards the end of the first quarter, and are those things still being emphasized? Do social contracts need to be revisited to ensure that your classroom culture can support the technology?

Ben Smith, a physics and technology resource teacher in PA wrote in the most recent issue of 'entrsekt' magazine:

I really think I could put any tools in the room and students would be engaged in innovative and creative tasks. But the room and culture must come first. Even when we have that, we still aren't ready to bring in the tools. We need to ask ourselves what we want students to do. Only then are we ready to select the right tool for our space.

If you are unsure how to make sure your students (and YOU) are ready, I'm here to help. If you're unsure of which tool to use, I can show you tools. But be prepared to tell me what you want students to do, not with the tool, but at the end of their learning.

Important Info

PLEF Schedule

Now that laptops have been distributed, my normal schedule will be as follows:

Monday - Penn-Griffin

Tuesday - Ferndale

Wednesday - Ferndale

Thursday - Penn-Griffin

Friday - WSA

NOTE: This schedule is subject to change - I am often pulled away for meetings and trainings that I have no control over. However, I am always available through email. If you need to see me in person, you may want to email me first!

Charging Carts

The AverCart company's niche is they allow cost-efficient charging and in doing so, they use less power at once. So, you will hear a clicking noise, which signals the power moving from one power strip to another. It will appear that they are not lit, but they are still charging. The link to a video that explains this further follows. Fast forward to 1:33 (one minute, 33 seconds) to get to the part about the charging. (This is a different model, but same charging process so it will look different from ours.)

You are in good standing if:

*The power light on the outside of the cart is on/lit.

*All three power strips are turned on. "RESET" and "OFF" are engraved on the on/off switch.

The switch should be on the RESET side to be "on".

The strips will be lit occasionally, but on a cycle.

If you think that your cart is not working properly, please let Ms. DeAngio, Ms. Frederick, or me know ASAP so that we can get it fixed.

Tech Trainings with Teena

I've had lots of requests for Canvas training. To meet your needs, I've planned some short sessions for Canvas training during Core subject planning. Because this is a short amount of time for a very deep subject, it is important that you are:

  • ON TIME - we will start promptly at:

6th Grade: 9:00 AM

7th Grade: 10:30 AM

8th Grade: 11:20 AM

  • PREPARED - Make sure you can log in to NCEdCloud and Canvas well before the session. We will not have time to problem-solve issues with your account. Also make sure that you have any materials that you might want to put in your course

Sessions and Focus:

Due to other obligations that will keep me away next Monday and Thursday, I will be at PG the next two Friday mornings for Canvas trainings.

Fri. Oct. 14 - Creating and Grading Assignments

Fri. Oct. 21 - Creating and Using Modules

Thur. Oct. 27 - Creating Pages to Make Your Course More User-Friendly

I'll send out calendar invites, just so I know who to expect.

If you are unable to attend any session, you are welcome to schedule a one-on-one session with me.

I'll also be looking at other times, either before or after school, on early release days, or on workdays, that this training can be provided for Encore, as well.

Why is Skype on my computer?

I've heard lots of teachers wonder why Skype is always asking you to sign in. Some of even asked if it can be deleted. It can't be, but you really don't want to. Let me tell you why.

Skype is essentially an instant messenger. You look for the person you want to talk to, and you type a message. Or you can video chat. Or you can show them your computer. Or you can send them a file.

Here are some reasons you may want to do that:

  • To quickly tell your teammate that thing you forgot to tell them five minutes ago.
  • To show someone how to do something on your computer (or have them show you)
  • To have a group call with your teammates
  • To talk to another teacher in your subject area about how to do that great lesson they told you about
  • To send a link to a colleague
  • To see if Ms. Martin is in her office and can come to your room to show you how to do that thing
  • To have a mystery skype with another classroom

Did that last one intrigue you? I hope so, because it's pretty freaking cool.

Want more details? Just hit me up on Skype! (Or email me if you're not sure how to use it, yet.)

Words of Wisdom

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Teena Martin, PLEF

What the heck is a PLEF? PLEF stands for Personalized Learning Environment Facilitator. Teena brings over 10 years of education experience having taught in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in some very diverse institutions before becoming a PLEF. She has taught nearly every grade level and subject at some point. She has a Bachelor's degree in Special Education, and a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology.