Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blog Post #6

Wendy Drexler: The Networked Student 

The Networked Student was created by Wendy Drexler with inspiration from George Siemens and Stephen Downes 2008 Connectivism course.  The concept map in the video was influenced by Alec Couro's Networked Teacher, and the video features a project done by some of Wendy's students.  The artwork was done by Alex Drexler.

Wendy Drexler did a great job demonstrating on how being connected is crucial and helpful in becoming a lifelong learner and educator.  According to this video, "connectivism is a theory that presumes that learning occurs as part of a social network of many diverse connections and ties." Basically this video tells the story of a student that takes a psychology class with a professor of connectivsm.  There are no lectures and no textbooks!

I love books and lectures! Not boring lecturing at the front of the class, but interaction, group work, and discussions during class time.  There is something about being able to physically  converse and debate with people to share ideas.   I love the networked student concept, although i think it should be a great addition to class lectures and text.    I enjoy discussing my opinions with people.  Being connected and learning social skills have to do with people interacting and communicating.

One may ask, why does a student of connectivism need a teacher?  Drexler highlights that the teacher of connectivism, "empowers her students to take control of their learning and make new connections with others who will strengthen the learning process." Therefore, the teacher is there to show the students the skills to search, validate credibility, and create the network.  She is there to help build the network, offer guidance when a student needs help, teaches the students how to communicate effectively and properly.  This includes how to address other respectfully.  The teacher would also be there to point the students in the direction to find different and reliable information.

engagement continuum
The part in this video that stood out the most was when Drexler mentions the application such as iTunes8 to download thousands of lectures from ivy league professors.  "He actually has access to the best professors in the world!"   This really drew me in because through connectivism, we can all get the best education and take control of how and what we get.  Although now I am thinking: Why am I paying so much for my college education if I can get it through a network in my own home?

Another part that stood out was when the student arranged a live video chat with his classmates and an expert.  "It never hurts to ask. People usually love to share their knowledge and expertise, especially with students." I'll keep this in mind on my intellectual micro computing journey.


A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment.  This was a cool video! I loved the freedom that the student had to explore what she wanted to explore.  The note taking application seemed useful and effective as well.  I liked how it automatically documented the source of the notes.  Sometimes that can take forever to record or find again!  She seemed to enjoy having the opportunity to learn through the internet and connect with experts through Skype or email to validate her information.  Thanks for sharing this informative video.  This course is exposing me to more technology that I had not even thought about when it came to connecting and teaching.

Her personal learning environment and more freedom to explore and learn whatever she would like.  It has many helpful applications to encourage organization.  Her information center is mostly internet.  Mine, on the other hand, involves class time, lectures, bookwork, and note taking.  I need to write the notes.  It is my personal study technique that works best; and believe me, I've tried others.  Also, I get most of my information predominantly from my textbooks.  There is not much freedom.  I am also tested.  The video did not mention how she was evaluated through her learning environment.  I look forward to incorporate and utilize all of these helpful applications to effectively learn and study.

wall art connectivism


  1. "... but interaction, group work, and discussions during class time." A rather strange definition of lectures if i say so myself!

    "...converse and debate with people to share ideas." Lectures? Hardly.

    " I enjoy discussing my opinions with people." Lectures? Hardly.

    And the networked student conversed, debated, discussed. But not in person. Just like I am doing with you right now. In fact I am spending more time conversing with you than I would with 40 students in a regular 50 minute class!

    "iTunes8" is really iTunes U. They just had their 1 billionth download. When I asked in the first EDM310 questionnaire "Have you ever used iTunes U here were the responses:
    No. I have never heard of iTunes U - 39%
    No. I have heard of iTunes U but I have never used it - 37%
    Yes. - 24%

    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. If you are not prepared or are not willing to be a networked teacher you can cross Baldwin County off your list of potential employers. So get ready to be a Networked Teacher!

  2. Wannetta,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I must say that I too am somewhat skeptical of this approach for my classroom. I think it's a great way to help students learn much needed skills for researching and communicating on the internet. There are pros and cons, as with most things in life, but I would agree that it is an interesting method and worth a try.