Monday, October 26, 2009
Am I Ready? A response to Wendy Drexler's Networked Student
Wendy Drexler's Networked Student defines connectivism as: "a theory that presumes that learning occurs as part of a social network of many diverse connections and ties. This network is made possible by various tools of technology. The tools are not as important as the connections made possible by them."
Technology or not, I think most educators would agree that learning occurs best when students ask relevant questions. The challenge for teachers is that we don't always have the answers, and then the challenge becomes that of the student once again. We need to teach students how to answer the question, "Well if you don't know the answer, then what resource should I consult to find out?" The foundation for successfully educating is to create a comfortable learning environment built on trust-- once a teacher has established that, they are ready to introduce their students to learning in a whole new way, by networking them.
One quote in particular stood out to me in this video because it is a crucial part of successful networking. Drexler's student says, "Comment on blogs to offer one's own informed point of view for discussion." Informed is the key word here. It is important to teach students to dig for answers themselves before they ask questions or leave comments. As a result, students will inform themselves about the topic enough to ask the meaningful questions thereby provoking deeper discussions.
However, it is important not to hinder a student's confidence, especially when it comes to asking questions. As the movie put it, "It never hurts to ask, people usually love to share their knowledge and experience-- especially when it comes to students."