apPLE for the teacher: September

Your hub for the latest in Personalized Learning in GCS.

Big image

Welcome back!

I am trusting that each of you had a restful and enjoyable summer!! Whether you were working, playing or just relaxing, I am hoping you are returning this year renewed and full of energy!

For those whom I have yet to meet, I am your Personalized Learning Coordinator. I am here to support your endeavors as it pertains to personalizing learning in your classroom.

Personalized learning is a critical thread throughout the entire instructional framework. It's difficult to meet your teaching goals without personalizing instruction for students. In focusing on T3 and T4 of the IF, a few of the highlighted areas below that are the essence of PL are as follows:

T3: Teachers create relevance for students within the context of standards by connecting to students' backgrounds and interests.

T3: Teachers provide learning tools, appropriate instructional technology, and organize resources based on standards and student needs

T3: Teachers differentiate for students through content, process, and/or product.

T4: Tasks are connected to real world applications and incorporate digital expression when appropriate.

T4: Students take ownership over their learning and are a valued voice in instructional decision making.

Honestly, I could list them all and argue how PL helps to achieve each of these outcomes. The great news? None of these things are new and a lot of them you are already doing. Keep up the great work! However, there is always room for improvements and adjustments. So if you haven't done so already, get to personalizing! I am here to help you achieve success!

In terms of resources, the tablet is merely a tool to help us to personalize--not the magic wand. As a lover of all things #edtech, I can help you integrate web 2.0 tools and tablet technology into your lessons, but it will only enhance the learning experience in an environment where strong instructional practices already exist.

Speaking of goals...

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Just like each of you, I have goals that I am pursuing this academic year. These are my goals for this school year:

  • Help teachers to develop and hone skills as outlined in the T3 and T4 areas of our Instructional Framework
  • Help move teachers along the path of personalizing learning by assisting with planning and implementation of strategies (i.e. co-teach, model lessons, observe, etc.), especially those in the GCS content focus areas.
  • Build and maintain a strong student-tech team able to assist with not only troubleshooting techniques, but the creation of peer tutorials.
  • Assist teachers in moving beyond technology just as substitution, but as a tool to augment and modify instruction.
  • Build and maintain a flexible professional development community regarding PL strategies with options of face to face or digital interactions to meet teachers' convenience.

Together, we can!

Tablets are coming!

Tablet Deployment will take place very soon. Specific communication about times and the processes (including modules) will be sent separately and soon!


  • 8th Grade Deployment = Thursday, Sept 10
  • 7th Grade Deployment = Friday, Sept 18
  • 6th Grade Deployment = Monday, Sept 21


  • 8th Grade Deployment = Monday, Sept 14
  • 7th Grade Deployment = Tuesday, Sept 15
  • 6th Grade Deployment = Thursday, Sept 17

In the meantime, teachers will be responsible for teaching one combined module to students this year -- tablet basics and care. Through their media center visit, they will check out the tablets and learn about internet safety and digital citizenship. OneDrive will be embedded at a late time on an as-needed basis.

6th graders will go through all lessons and ultimately show their proficiency in the form of an overall assessment.

Returning 7th and 8th graders will be refreshed on all things, and will show their proficiency in a short, review assessment.

Those new to GCS in 7th and 8th grade will complete online modules of all things related to tablets-- essentially a mesh of last year and this year's lessons.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the device, attend a refresher session (or two) and/or check out some helpful videos by clicking the button below.

Amplify Tablets in GCS

This link contains video tutorials, care and troubleshooting basics regarding the Amplify tablet.

Tech Tips and Tools

No YouTube for students? No problem!

We all know that YouTube has awesome instructional videos and resources that we'd love to bring into the classroom. As a teacher, you have full access to these resources. However, not everything on YouTube is appropriate for young eyes and ears. Therefore, GCS has blocked access to YouTube for students (including on tablet devices). Don't fret! There is a way to get some of those great video clips that are appropriate, to your students.

Check out this video about how to convert YouTube videos to mp4 files:

Why this is valuable: Once you have downloaded YouTube to mp4 files, you can add them to your Playlist Builder as you would any other type of file. Students can then download the videos and watch them as a part of your in-class lessons or at home. This is a great option for students who might not have wifi at home, but you desire to carry out a flipped lesson or provide video resources. You can also add them to other resources as files such as Verso, EdPuzzle, Edmodo, etc.

Verso - A tool to support your flipped classroom & deliver quick, formative assessments

This app is available in the Amplify Market and ready to be downloaded to your tablet and your students' tablets. This tool allows teachers to do an easy in-class flip of their content by activating learning in the form of questioning.

How does it work? Students sign up for an account (Gaggle accounts are suggested), you share your class code and students respond to your posted question, video, etc. and answers can be viewed in real time. Ideas that students share can then be grouped as a way to foster collaborative thinking and processing. Best of all, this can be great formative assessment tool! Think of how awesome this could be for your minute-by-minute assessments and your HOT (high order thinking) questions!

Check out the video below for more details.

Verso - Now every teacher can flip!

Canvas -- GCS' new Learning Management System

If you haven't done so, consider using Canvas as your learning management system. A big part of personalized learning is student access to digital content. Click here for a quick overview of what Canvas is all about. Like what you see? Go ahead and login through your NCEdCloud account. We will do some training in the coming weeks on this tool and how to best use it in your classrooms.

Can't wait to dig in? See instructions below for how to claim your account and start working on the Canvas Challenge.


Get Logged In

a. Use the Chrome Browser – Canvas works best in the Chrome browser, so use Chrome if you have it, or download it here. Otherwise, give Canvas a whirl using the browser you have.

b. Claim Your NCEdCloud Account – Beginning this year, we will use NCEdCloud to simplify logins to the various web tools you use (PowerSchool, SchoolNet, NCEES, Canvas, etc.)

Follow the instructions linked here to claim your NCEdCloud account. You only have to do this the first time, but you will need this information:

i. GCS’s LEA Code – 410

ii. Your State UID# – this is the ten digit number you use to login to PowerSchool

c. Login to Canvas via NCEdCloud –

i. Navigate to This is where you’ll go from now on to login to Canvas (or PowerSchool or SchoolNet or NCEES, etc.)

ii. On the next page, enter your NCEdCloud username and password, and click the “Login” button.

iii. On the next page, click the Canvas icon. You should land in Canvas.

Complete the Canvas Challenge – Once in Canvas, hover over the “Courses” link in the upper left, then click “The Canvas Challenge.” Work through the modules in this course (top to bottom) to get oriented to Canvas. You’ll notice that, when you hover over the “Courses” link, you also have a “Sandbox” course where you can practice what you’re learning in the Canvas Challenge.

Jerolyn "Jeri" Brown

Hello! I am excited to being a new school with each of you! I am looking forward to our best year yet! Serving both Kernodle and Kiser Middle Schools, I also look forward to the exchange of ideas and multiple approaches to personalizing learning in our schools.

A little about me...I was a classroom teacher for 8 years teaching ELA and SS at grades 5-6. I also taught reading in grades 6-8. Following my stint as a reading teacher, I served as a curriculum facilitator. In my current position as a Personalized Learning Coordinator, I live and breathe personalized learning and technology integration strategies! I am a certified teacher (K-6, 7-9 ELA and Reading Specialist K-12) and love the art of good instruction.

I look forward to partnering with you to help you achieve your goals during this academic year.