Sunday, February 24, 2013
Blog Assignment #6
The Networked Student
This video by Wendy Drexler describes the experiences of a student studying American Psychology. Instead of the traditional style of class that includes a textbook and a teacher who just lectures, his class is a networked one. His teacher believes in connectivism; which is the belief that learning comes from a connection of different networks and other social ties. The student must create his own learning network using various "tools of technology". The emphasis is not on the tools, however, but on the connections that are made possible through use of these tools. If the student must find ways to learn himself then why does the class need a teacher you ask?
Well, the teacher is the one who instructs the student on how to build his network. She is there to show how to appropriately and respectfully ask questions. She is the one who helps when he gets stuck and offers encouragement and praise when necessary.
I was excited about this concept. I have always thought that teachers should show students how to think for themselves and be able to take advantage of the tools around them. Teachers should be what my sister, who is also a teacher, calls "guides on the side" instead of a "sage on the stage". In other words, we should help our students and let them learn on their own instead of just spoon-feeding them information. I personally think that I could find a way to use this in my own classroom.
Personal Learning Environment
In this video a 7th grade student describes her online Personal Learning Environment. This is an online work space in which she has everything she needs to be a successful student. She has links to specific sites and tools that help her complete work that either the teacher has assigned or that she feels she needs to work on herself. Some of these tools are her personal blog and social bookmarking sites which allow her to share URLs from helpful websites with other students.
Her PLE is not that much different from this class's PLN. We both have certain agendas that we need to follow and the online tools to help us achieve those. We also both take advantage of the tools provided by Google such as Google Docs. A lot of our learning is also dependent upon ourselves.