Sunday, October 14, 2012
Blog Assignment #7
Networked Student is a video produced by Wendy Drexler's high school students. It was inspired by CCK08, a "Connectivism" course offered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes back in 2008. It was quite interesting. It reminds me of our current EDM310 class because we don't have a textbook, usually have online assignments, required to "connect" with other educators and students and our professor is the "filter". The student has to do prior research by using valid websites, libraries and other great resources. There are many websites and software, such as "Delicious", that allows you to save websites/bookmark and share them throughout the network. Within these websites, you can also find links other people have shared too. These may be articles, news or blog posts. Most of them will allow you to comment and share your own insight with others. This creates a discussion and a social network. In order to learn, a student is required to create their own network with peers, students, and/or educators to gather the necessary information that is needed for the subject he or she is learning. Not only does this help the student learn but it can strengthen the learning process. In the end, you can create your own blog to share what you have learned and discuss the information you have gathered. A blog can be viewed by anyone, even your peers! It's a great tool to use and this is why we are blogging.
So this brings up the question: why does the networked student even need a teacher? What is the teacher's role? Even though the student is basically learning by creating their own network, the teacher has many roles. Teachers teach students how to build the network, offer guidance, shows them how to communicate properly & effectively, how to ask for help from experts in a respectful way, how to differentiate between good information from bad, how to turn a web search into a scavenger hunt, how to organize information and etc. The teacher serves as a filter for the students. They teach the skills that are necessary for the student to network effectively. In our class, Dr. Strange serves as the professional who is teaching us these skills. He provides us many documents with information and gives us blog assignments that can help us improve our writing skills, how we dissect information, how to respectfully comment on your peers or educator's blog, and etc. He also teaches us how to communicate properly in order to relay or understand information better.
I am an example of a networked student as well as my classmates in the EDM310 class. I think the video describes our roles, our classroom and our professor's role precisely. The video also shows us the effective uses of technology in a classroom. Many people think that it'll wipe the role of teachers or that they won't be needed anymore but that isn't true at all! I think a teacher is always necessary when it comes to learning. You need an experienced and knowledgeable professional to guide you through your learning. The teacher's role will change but they won't be entirely eliminated from the classroom. I hope they don't. I personally do not enjoy the 100% online courses. It is very convenient but I feel like I learn less without the instant feedback or guidance from my teacher. We can always e-mail or message through SAKAI but it's not as effective as meeting in person. It's also good to have a few classroom days so the students can network with each other. This is why I like EDM310. Even though it's heavily an online course, we do meet several times throughout the semester.
In the video,"A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)", a 7th grader shows us her personal learning environment (PLE) and tells us what the uses are in her learning. It is pretty amazing. In a single page, she has all the information she gathered for her science class and her social networking tools. In our class, EDM310, we are required to build a personal learning network (PLN) that is very similar to hers. Developing your own personal learning network is really helpful for you and your learning process. In a PLE/PLN, you are allowed to use your own creativity to learn. I think the fact that it allows you to be creative in the way you want to learn makes learning much easier and likable. This gives the student the control and power over their own way of learning. Everyone learns in different ways. Like she stated, creating your own PLE/PLN to learn is fun and you actually have a lot of freedom. You also develop a sense of responsibility. I ended up using Symbaloo to manage my PLN. It seemed more organized to me. I also use"Delicious" and Google bookmark manager to store and organize various websites that will help me in my projects, research or studies. When I started my PLN, I was excited because it really helped me learn in an organized and helpful way! It's also very fun and easy to work with. I am glad that this was brought to our attention!