Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blog Post #6

The Networked Student

I've never heard the word 'connectivism' until today. I was very impressed by Wendy Drexler's video. Teaching students how to be self-learners is once again the theme. I have continued to see this throughout this class. The focus on developing your own PLN (Personal Learning Network) was taken to another level for me when watching this video. After seeing this video I can see why organizing the information would be the largest task, but they would learn the most from it.
Three important steps were taken in the video. The first step was researching URLs. The student would then develop a public list of these URLs, and look at other people's public lists to make sure he hadn't missed any website he might want to use. During this step he focused on locating sources within the library, and other academic areas. I thought this was a great organizational approach. Next, in step two, he goes to blog research. Separating the two (academic and blogs) keeps the information valid. I have often wondered how I would use blogs, along with technology in my future classroom, and this video really laid it out for me. The final step was to create your own blog with the information found during step one. This would be the student's avenue with the world, and give him a place to share with others what he had learned through his own research. I think this is a great approach to teaching students how to start a blog. I'm studying secondary education/social sciences, so I would want viable information from my students. What a great way to make that happen!
Why teachers are needed is the final issue discussed. If students can do all of this alone, what is the point of having a teacher? I'm slowly understanding and seeing that the teacher's role is not to lecture, or talk 'at' students for an entire class, but rather to guide them. When guiding them, you allow them to learn on their own. As teachers you are able to help them differentiate the good sources from the bad ones. You are also there to offer students personal support, and show excitement when they accomplish different tasks. The teacher's role is to allow students to learn, while being available to assist them when they get stuck, or ask for feedback.

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)

Evernote is something I plan to start using. Since this way of learning is brand new to me, I was curious has to how I would keep up with sources I found. I've only ever known to carry a stack of books around with me. The Pocket Tasks were really cool! I would love to use that in my future classroom. The idea of allowing them to chose how and when to do something forces them to be responsible. I like this idea because teachers will be busy teaching, not babysitting. My PLN is just beginning, so this 7th grader is leaps beyond what I even knew was possible. Once again, another blog post has opened my eyes to different ways of learning, and teaching.


  1. Thank you for adding the Evernote link in your post! I have bookmarked it for my personal use.
    Do not forget to proof-read your blog. There are a few little word placement mistakes. I do it too, so I understand.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I also had never heard of connectivism before watching Wendy Drexler's video. I also am beginning to realize that this class is teaching me how to be a "self-learner." Hopefully I will be able to instill this concept in my future students and teach them how to be effective self-learners. I also enjoyed watching this video because I didn't have a lot of ideas as to how I would teach my students how to start their own personal learning network. This video was very helpful in providing a lot of valuable information that I will be able to use in the future. Thank you for putting the link to Evernote in your blog post. I am trying to more effectively organize my personal learning network. The 7th grader was so organized, and it has definitely inspired me. I have started an account with Symbaloo, and I am hoping it will be a great tool to help me organize my own personal learning network. Great blog post!

  3. Congratulations on your new appointment. You have just become a part of what I believe is one of the most exciting undertakings to improve education in Alabama, maybe even anywhere in the South. Baldwin County is now ephasizing the use of challenge based, project-based and problem-based learning strategies at all grade levels. These efforts are similar to the networked student's approach to learning except the approaches vary according to grade. It is happening right now - in Baldwin County. The most advanced is Gulf Shores Elementary but a new training project called the Digital Renaissance Leadership Academy started yesterday (2/25/13) in Baldwin County. All teachers will be trained to be Baldwin County's equivalent of a networked teacher. There are almost 300 in the first year long program of DRLA. Foley Elementary and High School both have participants. Teachers from all grades are participating in the Academy. It will be exciting to watch it happen. So get ready. So get ready to be a Networked Teacher! Baldwin County will be a great place to be a teacher! Time to celebrate!