The Networked StudentFor this blog post, we were to watch a video entitled Networked Student. In this video, the narrator speaks about a student who uses technology to learn new things and communicate with a multitude of people. They talk about how the specific tools used are not important, but the communication made is what matters. For example, the student in this video is learning about American Psychology. He creates a document sharing profile in which he can share what he finds about his subject while also being able to access information shared by others! In addition to sharing sites, the student researches different blogs to find more information; he can also subscribe to these blogs so he will be notified if anything new is published.
Another major point spoken about in this video is what the narrator called the student's Personal Learning Network (PLN). This consists of all of the different sources and tools that the student found and can use to learn about what they are interested in. Making connections through the tools they found in their PLN gives them new leaning opportunities. Another video I watched was made by a seventh grader, and she described her PLN. She talked about the different tools she was able to use to further her learning in science. Because she had these great learning tools, her class was able to be virtually paperless.
The question that weighs on anyone's mind when watching this is, "What about the teacher?" Despite the fact that the student can basically learn what they need without help, they do still need their teacher. Teachers help with guidance when it comes to any subject. Initially, the teacher will help the student build their network by introducing new tools they can use. A student can look to a teacher for ways to organize their work and also to help them distinguish between what is useful information and what isn't.
I find these ideas amazing, and I love that students are able to use this type of technology today. All too often we see students relying too heavily on teachers and becoming extremely dependent. As a future educator, I hope to teach my students how to become self-reliant. That is a skill that they will have to use not only in college, but in life as well. I feel that helping them create their own PLNs would be a great first step in doing that!