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Networked student

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Connectivism presents... The Networked Student Special thanks to Lee LeFever of CommonCraft for granting permission to use his brilliantly simple design. This, my friends, is a true story. A student at 21st century high school studying American Psychology as part of his Contemporary Issues class. But, it could be any topic. He attends class 3 days a week, 2 days online. He doesn't have a textbook. His teacher almost never lectures. She is a student of Connectivism, a theory that presumes that learning occurs as part of a social network of many diverse connections and ties. This network is made possible through various tools and technology. The tools themselves are not as important as the connections made possible by them. This teacher empowers her students to take control of their learning and make new connections with others who will strengthen the learning process. Before our student embarks on his learning adventure, he must spend some time building his Personal Learning Network. He practices finding valid websites about the American psyche. He's taught how to assess and validate information to ensure its credibility. He uses Google Scholar and his school's library database to search for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles on his topic. When he finds a website or article that is worthy he posts it to his social bookmarking site, a place where people share URLs they have bookmarked on specific topics. He finds other people who have bookmarked sites about the American psyche, and he shares the sites he has found. Next, he searches for blogs that others have written about the American psyche. He understands that blogs often reflect opinions rather than cold hard facts. Based on what he has learned so far about the American psyche, he can choose to comment on these blogs and offer his own informed point of view for discussion. In order to manage these blogs, he uses a reader to subscribe to them. That way, he can tell when a blogger posts an update. Once our student builds a knowledge base, he creates his own blog to post reflections about what he has learned. His classmates and virtually anyone in the world can visit his blog and comment on his informed opinions. The 21st century student loves his MP3 player, but there's more on that device than his favorite music. He subscribes to a number of audio and video podcasts that support his learning. Through iTunesU, he has access to thousands of courses recorded by actual professors from Stanford, Yale, Cambridge, Open University and countless others. In fact, he finds a lecture from a course called Social Psychology, offered at UC Berkeley. He literally has access to the best professors in the world. While researching his topics, he stumbles upon a documentary about the American psyche. A Dutch-born, Canadian immigrant filmmaker crosses America and interviews Americans about their homeland. Our student e-mails the filmmaker, who agrees to videoconference with the class to discuss the documentary. By the way, our students knows a few tricks about finding experts. He also knows that it never hurts to ask. People usually love to share their knowledge and expertise, especially with students. As a few weeks pass, our student is busy reading the up-to-the-minute virtual textbook he has created, and his social bookmarking account and RSS reader. His learning project culminates in the creation of his choice. Perhaps a video he posts to a video sharing site, an American psyche wiki from which others can learn, or a VoiceThread through which others can comment. Regardless of the medium, he is sharing HIS organization and his knowledge with the rest of the world, so the next turn of the American psyche can learn from his hard work. The 21st century student network includes a wide range of connections. Each one a new learning opportunity. There is more to connective learning than what you see in this project. Think about it as just the beginning. Information management will be a major challenge in the 21st century. RSS makes it possible for anyone to subscribe to just about any changing content on the Internet. New synchronous communication tools are emerging nearly every day. All of these tools make it easier for our student to connect with new contacts, and learn effectively from those he already knows. So, why does he even need a teacher, you ask? Good question! She is the one who teaches him how to build his network and take advantage of learning opportunities. She offers guidance when he gets stuck (Learning Architect). She shows him how to communicate properly and ask respectfully for help from experts (Modeler). She shows him how to differentiate between good information and propaganda, how to vet a resource, how to turn a web search into a scavenger hunt, and get excited when he finds that pearl of content. She helps him organize those mountains of information. In her heart, she hopes that when he leaves her class, he'll maintain his learning network and use it to navigate his future and creatively solve the world's problems. These are the skills you will need in the 21st century. This has been a connectivism production. Written and directed by: Wendy Drexler Artwork by: Alex Drexler .

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Wendy Drexler
Director: Wendy Drexler
Views: 36,403
Posted by: qadmon on Dec 9, 2008

The Networked Student was inspired by CCK08, a Connectivism course offered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes during fall 2008. It depicts an actual project completed by Wendy Drexler's high school students. The Networked Student concept map was inspired by Alec Couros' Networked Teacher. I hope that teachers will use it to help their colleagues, parents, and students understand networked learning in the 21st century.

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