December PLE

Aycock, Newcomers, and Mendenhall

The novelty phase is over!

Substitution is the first step of the SAMR model. Using the tablet to simply replace what you were already doing was an excellent first step. Now that you are more comfortable with the tablet we can begin to move from enhancing learning to transforming learning.
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MINI PD sessions will begin again in January. You will receive calendar invites titled "MINI PD". These sessions will accumulate CEU's. You do not need to sign up on the PD website I will handle that at the end of the year. You do however need to accept the calendar invite and sign the sign in sheet for credit.

Many of our past PD's were on basic tablet function. We are transitioning now to ways to better integrate the tablet into our lessons with new improved tasks. There are countless tools out there for you to take advantage of. These sessions are a way to get snip its of different programs and tools to add to your teacher tool bag.

Some sessions that will be provided are Edmodo Snapshot, EdPuzzle, and Kahoot. What sessions would you like to see in the coming months?


Before the MINI PD, get a head start on Kahoot! Teachers love Kahoot and are using it as a fun interactive way to pre-assess and review content. New to Kahoot? Check out this brief SMORE dedicated to Kahoot.

Cam Scanner(App) to the rescue

You need to give an exam and the copy machine runs out of ink. You have 15 minutes until the first bell and you're panicking. What to do? Use CamScanner. This app allows you to take a photo of anything and turn it into a PDF or JPG. You can then upload it to Playlist Builder, Edmodo, Moodle, etc and share it with your students. This free tool is available for download in the PlayStore. Do you still have an .edu email address from your college days? If so, use this link and get a free premium account:
CamScanner - Intelligent Document Management

Going Above And Beyond!

Tablet Tech Tips

December Cheat Sheet

Here are a few apps and web 2.0 tools to add to your digial toolbox. Check out this month's cheat sheet in the picture below. CLICK HERE for the pdf version of the cheat sheet with active links!

Charging the Tablets

Complaints about tablets that "will not charge" have been up recently. To potentially help with that issue, instruct students to charge their tablets at home while they are turned off. The VPN (filter away from school) pulls on the battery quite a bit and this may help save some of that battery power while in route to campus.

Found a new app? Want to see it in the Amplify Market? Follow the steps according to the GCS app approval process. In a nutshell:

  • Download the desired app on your tablet and spend some time with it looking at its functionality, advertisements and overall best uses.
  • Complete the app approval rubric.
  • Finally, submit the completed rubric to your school's MTAC committee (contact your Media Specialist).
  • Your part is complete!

From there, if approved at the school level, the app will be submitted for county approval from the MDAC committee. Once terms of use have been properly vetted, you could see your requested app in the Amplify Market!*

Click here for the app approval process and rubrics (find links at the bottom of the page). *Please keep in mind, this can be a lengthy process so students will not have access to the requested app right away.

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The Backup Plan

As we strive to make it personal, the hill will not always be smooth. There will be some curves, and some rocks but WE can get through this! There are going to be times that the students come to school with uncharged tablets, no tablet at all, or they just don't want to use it! NO BIGGIE! Please remember that we have to have plans already in place for students that may not want to use their tablets for an assignment to support personalize learning and allowing students voice and choice. Everything will probably not be completed on tablets nor is it the expectation. Students must see the value in the tablets. If teachers are using the tablets for “busy work” and not truly using them to personalize, then students miss the benefit and do not see the need. The novelty wears off. We must strive to make this experience one like no other.
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Student Tablet Reviews

"This thing's actually pretty cool."

"I can do my homework and play games when I'm done."

"My teacher sent me classwork while I was sick.. and I did it!"

"A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack."

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There's no app for good teaching.

Tablets are amazing tools that can enhance your lessons and engage your learners. The tablet also does an amazing job at bringing to the surface classroom management that needs work. Fortunately, Amplify knows and expects this, just like anyone who works with middle schoolers. There are simple ways to easily redirect students if you use your tablet with knowledge and confidence.

Use the Amplify classroom management tools in your notebooks. It's very easy to control what apps students are using with the App Blocker. The moment you begin class you should have all apps blocked. As your lesson unfolds you will need to give students access to only the apps you plan on having them use. You can block the entire class, groups of students, or individuals.

Keep an eye on how many students are checked in to your class. If you have fewer checked in then present in class, have those students toggle wifi and restart if necessary.

Lande Brady

Mendenhall- Monday & Wednesday

Aycock- Tuesday & Friday

WSA- Friday

Newcomers- varies- email me!