Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blog Post #7

The Networked-Student
I'm on a roll and just finished watching Wendy Drexler's movie, The Networked-student. I love the simplicity of the presentation with the hand-drawn images.
The movie is based on a 21st century student who is studying American Psychology. Unlike the learning of today, this student is being taught in a setting where he attends class three days a week, two days online,and doesn't use a textbook. His teacher teaches using the theory of connectivism which stresses that "learning occurs as part of a social network with diverse connections and ties," which is made possible by the use of technology. This student uses technology resources such as google scholar, social bookmarking,and blogging to research information and form his own opinions. This enables him to create and post to his own blog so that others can see it and share in the information with him.
This 21st century student uses other technological devices as well such as his Mp3 player to listen to music and podcasts. Through this device he has access to information he can use in his research. He can download lectures. There were other forms of technology that Wendy mentions the 21st century student uses, all of which help him to learn the information which can later be shared with his peers.
Wendy also addresses the question, "Why does he even need a teacher?" The teacher helps him build this network. She is there to offer guidance, ask the right question, determine which information is factual or opinion-based, and helps him organize the information located using his PLN (personal learning network). All of this is to help him be able to navigate the technology effectively and to have a plethora of resources available to him in the future.
men on computer board
As mentioned in my previous posts, I do not think that I am 100% ready to follow this theory of connectivism and teach accordingly. I like the idea of online sharing, and I'm sure it will come in handy. On the other hand, if people are constantly online learning and doing things online in their little online world, then what is going on in the real world? Who has time to communicate with one another if they are busy in their own little world?

Seventh Grader's PLN
I just realized that I forgot to watch the seventh grade student's video presentation on her PLE. Now that I have watched it, I realize that the world of technology based instruction is not as far a distant of a plan as I was thinking. Given the proper education of the educators and the right amount of funding, I could see that our classrooms even in Mobile, AL might be going cyber spaced.
After watching this video I feel far behind. Gone are the days of PowerPoint and the excitement of a smart board. Technology no longer is cool if it stops there. Now you have to have a whole network of sites on the internet and a various amount of tools available through the latest and greatest computers. I realize that if our schools do go to a strictly technology based instruction I would have to go to college all over again just to learn how to teach.
If given the choice between a technology enhanced classroom and a technology based classroom I would still choose the technology enhanced. I think part of the reason why I feel this way is because a technology based classroom is unfamiliar territory for me. But also, I have this fear that we will eventually be expected to function like robots with our lives revolving strictly around technology. Either way, you can just call me old school.
Unfortunately (no excuses given) I have been unable to begin my PLN but plan to in the next 24 hours. I don't even know where to begin. So unfortunately I do not have a comparison between her PLE and my PLN except for one: Mine is non-existent. Her's looks great!

Thomas Squarez
After watching the YouTube video aboutThomas Suarez, the twelve year old boy who created an app for is iPhone, I learned a couple of things.
1. I didn't realize a twelve year old boy had the ability to give such an organized, adult-like presentation.
2. I also didn't realize that the iPhone came with the software that it did that you could design your own app.
3. I didn't realize that you could put an app you created up for sale in the app store.
I am curious to how much profit he is able to make doing what he has done. Also, I recognize that God gifted him with the gifts of perseverance and creativity along with the gift of an environment to foster his gifts. What an amazing testimony to what our youth can do when given the opportunity and the tools necessary.
After watching this video I realize why some people who are pushing for technology based instruction are concerned that children in the 21st century will become bored if we continue to teach the way we have in the past. Still I do have my concerns about our society starting younger and younger with technology. It becomes their world. Although this may seem like its not a big deal to most of you technological literate people, it does concern me. I guess, though, an educator has got to do what an educator has got to do, right?
This ties in with the other two presentations I had to watch in order to complete this particular blog post assignment. All three of these presentations are about the way learning has been redefined in the 21st century Also all three presentations stress the importance of embracing the progress we have made in the areas of technology and using the tools we have developed to get what we need to get done.


  1. Brittany,
    You did a great job summarizing The Networked Student video. I appreciated that you raised your concern that:"Who has time to communicate with one another if they are busy in their own little world?" Great foresight! A concern many have is "Will people be missing out on social experience and professional connections if they spend so much time online?" I think the point of calling it connectivism is to point out the importance of connections, both digital and in person, so that people make the distinction and realize that they are equally important. And as the 7th Grader's PLN and Thomas Suarez videos pointed out, even young children are able to find the balance!
    Keep up the good work,

  2. Brittany,

    Your summary of The Networked Student was very thorough and well written. I understand your concerns for true day to day communication; however, I also realize that technology offers new opportunities for communication as well. I have a best friend that lives in Seattle, WA, and because of technology such as Skype and FaceTime, we get to see each other and talk like we are side by side any time we want. The thing is, technology is becoming more and more prevalent so I feel the best thing we can do is to learn to use it to our advantage.

    It is always difficult to embrace changes, and technology is drastically changing things, but I do believe it can be a good thing. Students now are surrounded by technology. Hopefully we can at least teach them how to use it wisely and effectively. I really appreciate you sharing your concerns. Its easy to look at just the good in something sometimes, but we need to be able to address the negative as well.

    Courtney Hieronymus

    1. Thanks for sharing your insight as well. You are right when saying to embrace it and teach them to use it wisely and effectively. Good point!