Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blog Post 7

Social media logos around the word connectivity

The Networked Student

Watching The Networked student by Wendy Drexler really got me thinking about the way students are taught in today's world. This video presents the idea of connectivsim, which is using social media to establish a learning network. Instead of learning information from the teacher, students are expected to use technology to build a knowledge base for the particular subject on their own. They can do this by using Google Scholar to find peer reviewed articles, reading blogs on the subject, listening to educational podcasts, interacting with professors and other professionals from around the world, and much more. When valuable information is found, the student can post it on his social bookmarking site. The student can also use the social bookmarking site to discover additional sources of information that other people have found. Once the student has built up his knowledge base, he is ready to create his own blog on which he will express his own opinions on the subject for the world to see. Finally, the student uses all of the information he has learned to create a project. This project can be many different formats including, but not limited to, a video, a wiki, or a voice thread.

Naturally, you might want to know what the point of having a teacher for a class like this would be. Well, much like in EDM 310, the teacher is more of a guide for the students instead of the only source of knowledge. The teacher instructs the students on how to decide if a source is credible or not. She teaches the polite way to ask experts for help. She can clear up any confusion the student may have. As you can see, teachers are still a necessary component in the learning process for connectivism.

I personally think that this is a great method of teaching and learning. No longer does a student receive his information from only one source (the teacher) in one main way (through lectures). Rather, the student can find different perspectives and opinions on topics and use these to form his own opinion. Another benefit is that students can choose which types of resources he learns the best from. One student may learn best from reading numerous articles on a topic while another might learn better from listening to podcasts. Still, another student may learn best from watching videos. With this style of teaching and learning, all of these preferences can be accommodated whereas with a lecture, only those students who learn best from listening are benefited. Another advantage of this teaching and learning style is that the students can return to information at any time during the course to review. With a lecture, if a student misses something while taking notes, they are just out of luck unless a friend wrote it down.


A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment

I must say, I was very impressed with what I saw in A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment. This video walks you through the tools used in a 7th grade science class. Each day, students log onto their class blog (much like we do in EDM 310) to see what they will be doing in class that day. Sometimes the students have an assignment to complete or a video to watch, and other times they have the freedom to choose what to get started on. They use a social bookmarking site to keep everything for class organized and together. Like we do in EDM 310, students have a blog for the class to post reflections and other assignments on. Students are expected to conduct research and present the information in a project such as a glogster, a virtual poster. A glogster can include text, graphics, and videos. After completing a project, students interact with scientists from around the world, and get them to review their work. This is sort of like our Comments for Teachers assignment.

I thought it was very exciting to hear a middle school student being enthusiastic about science class. This approach to learning seems so much more fun and interesting than the lecture style classes I was taught in middle school. I think teachers would be smart to take advantage of all of the new technology out there!

As I pointed out earlier, EDM 310 seems to be very similar if not identical to the class presented in the video. Like the student in the video said, I also enjoy having the freedom to complete whichever assignments I want whenever I want to do them. However, with freedom definitely comes responsibility, and that is a wonderful skill to teach to students! They will learn quickly that time wasted in class means more work at home!


  1. Kaitlyn,
    Your post was very well written. I also found it amazing how excited this 7th grade student was about her work. If all teachers were willing to find ways to excite their students learning wouldn't be the chore that is today. I also agree that students learn differently and it is so important to give students a chances to learn their way. This was a very good post.

  2. Hey Kaitlyn,

    I like your comments about the teacher for a networked student. We still need guides to help students teach themselves; and that scares people!

    I too think it is great for a student to be excited about science! Just a little bit of effort from the teacher could help young students be interested in things they normally wouldn't be.

    Great job Kaitlyn,

    Stephen Akins