Wendy Drexler: The Networked Student
What is the networked student? The networked student is a connected student. These students are connected to informed opinions (like blogs), expert discussions (iTunes U), and organized information (Delicious), just to name a few. The student learns through being connected, and each connection helps grow their learning process. This is learning by connectivism. I think connectivism has some substance to it as a teaching method because it takes the emphasis off the technology. We do not learn because of the technology but because of the connections the tool allows us to have.
Am I prepared to teach the networked student?
The definition of teach is different for these students. These students are already taking control of their own learning. They do not need someone instructing them. All instruction and knowledge is available. These students need a mentor. A person that is wise in the ways of connectivism because the mentor himself is a connected learner. In regards to this type of teaching, I am not ready. I'm not really sure (as of right now) how to guide these students to build a network, to sort good information from propaganda, or to set learning goals. I am not ready because I'm still in the process of learning how to do these things myself!
I really like this pedagogy because the students have freedom. Because the students are in control of their own learning, they are more likely to be engaged learners. I've always thought that a self-governing or autonomous learner is an engaged learner. The student feels like he or she controls all the laws of learning (how, when, why, where), but a teacher is still needed to set expectations and goals. Also, a teacher is need to motivate, and give positive feedback. Overall, as a teacher of these students, I want to be able to facilitate and grow their learning process.
Welcome To My PLE
Many things are similar with her PLE (personal learning environment) and my PLN (personal learning network). She checks her science agenda page everyday, likewise, I check my EDM310 class blog daily. We both have to organize all the information we come in contact with (I use Delicious) and we do not use books or paper!
My eyes are beginning to open up and understand future learning. Notice, I didn't say the future classroom. The classroom is just a place, but learning is not and should not be confined to a classroom or any place. Me and this 7th grade student are network learners; we are connected to others and all available information. I like what I read on one of Karl Fisch's blog. He explained that a PLN has been around for awhile, but the reach and extent of a PLN now is vastly expanded because technology is allowing us to be interconnected and have access to information.
The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube and the Politics of Authenticity
From the start, I was intrigued by this video. I loved 1984 while I was in high school and really admired Huxley's Brave New World. Is the truth today drowned in irrelevance? Are we a trivial society? Are we amusing ourselves to death? As I think of these ideas, my mind keeps coming back to the pedestal we put sports on in our culture, football especially. How does football better our society, besides entertainment and getting our minds off the critical issues of today. Why are so many resources put into sports? I think this just confirms that we are amusing ourselves to death.
We are also amusing ourselves to indifference. I saw the concept of whatever (lack of caring) take form while taking my core curriculum classes in college. So many students these days don't know until after a couple years in college what they want to do. They play during these years and their lives are focused around entertainment. Because of this, they choose to do nothing. Hopefully I'll see the concept of whatever change from lack of caring to, "I care, let's do whatever to make it work".