The Networked Student
Wendy Drexler's video on what it means to be a "Networked Student" is informative and inspiring all in one. I had never heard of the term "Networked Student" or even "Networked Teacher". This video helped me understand the possibilities of outside online learning for students. My only concern would be at what age level would you start this? I understand the college and even high school level is appropriate but what about elementary and middle? Would this concept be useful or a disaster? Im interested to see the feedback for this. This process is educational though in a way that its helping the students become 'self learners'. Helping them to figure out how to research and come to conclusions on their own. I know when I was in school I was more of a hands on, lecture type of student. I needed my teachers to explain it before I could really dive in because I always thought I would be doing something wrong. But with this way of learning I think it would be good practice for students to be able to create a way of "thinking for themselves" instead of just "going by the book".
In the video, it states that the student creates an online blog to publish his scholarly finds and opinions. I love this idea because it gives the student a chance to create his or her own opinion, which is becoming less and less in the classrooms today. It also helps if other students comment on the posts to further research and conclusions. I also liked the sites that this video presented me too. I didn't know of all of the possibilities of online scholarly research. This is one method I would actually use in my classroom because it gives the students something valuable to take with them throughout their lives because they will always be faced with questions that they do not have the answers to.
"Why does the Networked Student even need a teacher?" The networked student still needs a teacher to help them guide them in the right direction. If a student is faced with a question about right or wrong or even where to find something the teacher is there to provide information about the quality and educational value of being a networked student. I believe with this process the teachers will still definitely be needed because not ALL things can be understood from technology. Some students still might need that one on one action from a teacher to help fully understand something.
Am I ready to be a "Networked Teacher"? I believe with a little more experience with technology and the uses of the internet, I could be a great Networked Teacher. It definitely helps to have more experience and understanding of all the possibilities of learning before you would begin this in a classroom.
Personal Learning Environment
I enjoyed watching the video of "A 7th Graders Personal Learning Environment". It reminded me a lot of what Dr. Strange has introduced us to with our blogs and Google Docs. I find it interesting and intriguing because like the student said it does give the students the ability of freedom to research how they want. Also putting more responsibility on the student to get the work done in a timely manner even though there is the distractions from social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. I really like the assignment the student had in her science class when they got to email a professional scientist and also Skype them about questions related to their field. This project seems like it would get the students more involved and excited because they would be talking to someone credited. The 7th graders personal learning environment and my own personal learning network is much a like. We both research and find things on our own and post them to our blogs. I feel it gives us both a chance of freedom of speech and to think of things in our own way. This also sums up a part of my question in my early paragraphs about if the "Networked Student" would be appropriate in the middle school classroom. What the 7th grader is doing and what a networked student would do is basically the same thing.