Thursday, February 21, 2013
Blog Post #6
The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler offered insight into the necessity of being connected. The networking toolbox is bigger than ever. Technology, programs, and apps provide a plethora of connections waiting to be made. As a new student to this world of connectivism, I am amazed already to have a network established through the assignments in EDM310. Soon my network will exponentially increase as each contact will lead to multiple contacts. Soon, if not already, I will have contacts that are already networked with each other. Once my PLN has expanded I will have neighbors that are specialized in one topic, that I am interested or preparing to teach, that I can extend to for resources and ideas, and I will be a source for someone else. I like the point from the Ms. Drexler's video about the tools not really being that significant but the connections made is what is important. I see this like a painting. A piece of art is not about the paint itself, it is about the message and emotion that is displayed in the art.
The portion of Ms. Drexler's video on information management is very important. Can you imagine going to an auto dealership to buy a new car and you find that perfect vehicle. You sign all of the appropriate paperwork and cut the check for the down payment. As you walk out with the keys in your hand grinning from the excitement of a more comfortable luxurious ride, you notice a shipping container with your name marked on it. The salesman says "here is your new car the only thing you have to do is assemble it" and there are no instructions. That is how technology can be if not taught to use it properly or guided to the best programs and apps to manage the information to suit your needs. Now I realize just how technologically illiterate I am. This illustration leads me into the main idea of Ms. Drexler's video.
Why do I need a teacher? A teacher is the one who instructs and guides me to effectively use my tool box. Looking at the image above of the car in pieces, with proper instruction I could appropriately assemble that car. Much like our class in EDM310 we are given instruction and are guided to learn in this course of study. How many people have you ever heard say "I have to do it myself to learn." I know I have said it about numerous things but when it comes to classrooms we are programmed to sit in desks and listen to lectures, take notes, memorize facts, and repeat that information. With cram time most of us repeat those facts pretty good and become qualified, on paper, for a career. However, I have insight as an older student from previous work experience, that no matter how much paper education you have, when you get to the job site, you start the learning process over with how to really do the job you were hired for. In a more hands on, self taught, teaching environment we retain the knowledge of performance. A great teacher will provide students with the right tools and the knowledge to use those tools effectively.
This example video from a seventh grade student shows how an effective teacher can lead students to develop the modern skill sets to build self motivation through tapping into their creativity. The organization of this student's daily work is amazing. I see where I have vast room for improvement in my own PLN. I believe my blog setup through EDM310 is the foundation for my PLN. Effectively using my blog, twitter, rss reader and bookmarking sites, I can create a hub of communication that filters in the information I want and need and also is the link for others to connect with me as a resource in the future. A virtual desktop that is accessible and mobile with online data drives, and the many networking tools, allows teaching and learning to happen from almost anywhere.
Jobs are much easier now with technology such as Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive.