Personal Learning Environments

I lied to myself. I was thinking – I don’t think I like this personalised learning notion. I don’t want to be a tutor. I don’t want to do just one on one, or one  little group  on one, or one in some virtual space or other. Me and my black hat. The last two weeks of this term have actually been the first two weeks of the second semester and I have been really enlightened as to what PLE can mean in my classroom. Under the video I have put on this post , there is a comment about someone believing it is a PTE too, where the T stands for teacher. That’s me and now I am nearing my second week of being in a PLE and PTE, I can say it’s a great way to go, really. My experience has been serendipitous and accidental. Technology is central to its success. Having watched the video, my current credo for PLE will come from it:

They are organic
evolving and

I have learned that with technology you have a growth mindset in teaching and no longer view it as a set  content to get through. It is genuinely a learning continuum which can be enhanced, adapted and grown and all the while you are moving everyone forward, including yourself. It is central to lifelong learning, central to knowledge acquisition and predicated on everything you know about competencies, indicators , performance criteria, collaboration and teaching for effective learning. Everything you know comes into play and so it is a naturally active approach which can endure.

I have international students in my class. At the change of the semester, if they were leaving at the end of term, they were allowed to change into another class for the two week experience before they went home. One of my international students lost her friend to another class but on Monday last week she brought in a Japanese friend for the two weeks . This student had done no French. Before, the two international students often brought a third friend to class, who had no lessons at that time but who did know French. That student would sit in a two hour lesson and be there with us , do whatever we were doing and contribute to the class 100%. I was wondering what I would do with a Japanese student in a senior French class who had no French. Well, we have done well. She has been happy in the class. I got her onto duolingo to learn French in our lessons and she loves it. She has gone through a lot of levels and could show me. When we did little French oral exercises, she had to do them in English but this week, we did a dialogue and she could participate in that. Her friend simplified what she had to say, helped her practise and they performed their dialogue as convincingly as the others. She could also sit and listen to my explanations in French of vocabulary today which I needed to do before we had to write our imaginative piece using the conditional tense. She is surprised with what she has learnt. I am delighted. She has the beginnings of a fourth language under her belt, a sense of achievement, a way of moving forward and we have had a chance to share with her what we learned about the Japanese influence in France and get her opinion. That is all authentic learning in a much better way than I could have planned or even imagined. Now I have a framework for the PLE model, I can share more of what I have done with you.


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Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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