The Networked Student
Wendy Drexler made a video with one of her students named Alec Couros called The Networked Student. Her video was inspired by the connectivism course called "CCK08". This course was offered in the fall of 2008 by George Siemens and Stephen Downs. Connectivism is a theory that proves that learning is a part of a network of many diverse connections and ties. The video helps viewers to understand the technology that exist today.
While watching the video, Alec walked me through his process of networking. He first started his journey to connectivism by putting on his thinking cap and becoming an adventurous student. He explored Google Scholar, created his own book marking site, and searched for opinionated blogs. After exploring, he proceeded to create his own blog to experience networking for himself. He also used other resources to learn. For example, he used iTunes to listen to podcast of lectures.
The world is infinitely spinning and technology is growing with each new day. Information management is one of the major challenges to the 21st century. New tools are being made every day which gives students more and more opportunities to get connected. Some people believe that teachers will eventually no longer be needed because of the vast improvement of resources. To those of you who believe this statement, what will students do when they cant figure out how put in a source for a picture or how to add a link to their blog post? How will students stay focused and manage the information they learn? How will the students know how to differentiate between good and bad websites?
Without a teacher there to guide students, the networked student would not have any guidance. The teacher teaches the students how to build their own network and take advantage of different learning opportunities. When a student gets stuck or comes across an inappropriate website, the teacher is there to help he/she get back on the right track. Teachers are also the role model for students and they show their students how to communicate properly and respectfully.
I believe that teachers play a major role in the networked students' lives. I loved the ending when Alec states, "In her heart she hopes that when he leaves her class he will continue to work and use his network to navigate his future and solve world problems." As a future teacher, I know that technology will have a big impact on my classroom and students. I want to use networking in my classroom because it is my goal to see every student become a hardworking professional when they grow up.
The society we live in today is web based in every aspect of life. It is important to me for my students to be prepared for the future, to know how being connected through a network can benefit their academic career, and how networking can lead them to the unimaginable.
Welcome to My PLE
One of Wendy Drexler's seventh grade students made a video about her personal learning environment. The student was in Wendy's Science class which is paperless and all networked. In the video, the student explained her daily process of networking.
At the beginning of the day, she visits her agenda to see what the class would learn that day in Science. She then proceeds to check her "Pocket Tank". This is a Google document that teaches the students how to write a scientific report. Depending on what the lesson is about, she finds websites on that specific topic and post them to her personal book marking account. She then proceeds to use a special note taking resource that keeps her notes organized. After she completes assignments she post them to her blog for peer review.
Although I was very impressed with her daily routine, I was most impressed with her personal project. For her personal project she created a digital poster about her research. She was able to do this by using Blockster. On her poster she had videos, pictures, links to websites and resources, bibliographies, and much more. It was very eye catching and more elaborate than your basic poster project. Also, by using this resource instead of a piece of poster board she was able to be more creative and think outside the box.
Learning this way gives students more freedom to be creative and open minded. I cannot wait to establish networked students in my future classroom! However, I understand that I will have to establish boundaries because I do not want my students to get distracted with Facebook and other social networks. Allowing them to have more freedom will force my students to become responsible learners.
After watching this student's video, I have been inspired to broaden my personal learning environment because she used so many tools that I did not even think about using. I was very impressed with her work and the fact that she is only in the sevent grade. I want to help my future students to believe they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. By becoming networked students, my future students WILL be able to achieve their goals in life.