Learning Spaces Blog - EDUC 802-911

Where learning is happening @ PA Leadership Charter School

Learning Central

This is my primary office located in the central building. PALCS is a PA Cyber Charter School. We have 2500 students K-12. I am the 7-12 principal with 71 certificated staff and 1800 students under my leadership. We have 3 buildings where I have 2 other remote offices. I would say in a nutshell that learning happens all around me, just as it does for my colleagues. Unlike most of the other cyber charter schools, we require that all teachers must teach and learn from one of our three buildings. They do not work from home.

I use my office just as most of my fellow colleagues do, for informal teacher meetings, parent and student conferences, and other related interactions that happen day to day. Lastly, many operations aspects of PALCS can be observed right from my office desktop. Some examples are I can observe synchronous lessons in real time, look at a teachers grade book, do a lesson overview, monitor a teacher driven chat and other online areas in our Learning Management System called Moodle.

The PALCS Backbone

From a cyber school aspect, we are beholden to having our servers up and functioning. This is our "School". When the system(s) are down, school is not open. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is very keen on observing our "Up Time". For learning to continue moving forward, we utilize an a large group of support staff from IT professionals, technical people to fix hardware, and help desk service representatives to mitigate student software issues.

Different Learning Spaces in PALCS.

Typical Teacher Cube

This is a typical teacher cube. This Math teacher has both his screens running, his headset on and a Adobe Connect Room open with live students engaged. I find making learning interesting and engaging is more difficult for my teachers then the typical brick and mortar teachers. The main thrust of this reasoning is due to the fact you have to try and keep everyone engaged and on target remotely.