#CritLit2010 Networked learning

In this Drexler, W. (2010) The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy : a model for student construction of personal learning environment that balances teacher control with increased student autonomy.  This is a very interesting paper with lots of insights on the application of Web 2.0 and Personal Learning Environment

Here are my comments and questions in italics

In guided inquiry, the teacher provides the problem and directs the students to the materials for investigation (Colburn, 2000)

Under such guided inquiry, is a teacher-centered approach adopted?  Could people other than the teacher provide the problem?  How about the learner providing the problem?  Or the community of learners providing the problem?

The teacher is necessary to help the student navigate the breadth of content, apply the tools properly, and offer support in the form of digital literacy skills and subject matter expertise.

To what extent is the help of teacher necessary? Would this depend on prior experience and skills of the students?  What sort of digital literacy skills are important?

Principles of connectivism equate to fundamentals of learning in a networked world.  The design of the teacher-facilitated, student-created personal learning environment in this study adheres to constructivist and connectivist principles with the goal of developing a networked student who will take more responsibility for his or her learning while navigating an increasingly complex content base.

Five of 15 responses directly mentioned the teacher as still necessary, even if the student was prepared to take on more of the responsibility for learning.

What is the significance of having 33% of students mentioned that the teacher as still necessary?

What did the 67% of students think about the role of the teacher?

Achieving the delicate balance between teacher control and student autonomy is an ongoing challenge when facilitating student use of new technologies for self-regulated learning (McLoughlin & Lee, 2010).

Motivation, self direction, and technical aptitude are key considerations for implementing a networked student design.

My experience in networked learning also share similar considerations.

As the experience was related to 15 students in this case study, I am wondering how such networked learning experience would be translated in massive open online course (MOOC) in higher grades of K-12.

We have gained some insights into networked learning with CCK08, CCK09 and the current course of Critical Literacy 2010, and some of the research findings of CCK08 could be found below.

As discussed in my other posts on Complexity Theory here, it could be difficult to predict the outcomes of networked learning in advance, but we might be able to understand the impact of complexity on emergent learning after the course experience.

I think Wendy’s research provides valuable direction on how one could develop and implement networked learning based on PLE. Thanks Wendy.



6 thoughts on “#CritLit2010 Networked learning

  1. “To what extent is the help of teacher necessary?” 

    This question is at the root of determining where teachers and students lie when looking at the teacher-control/autonomous dichotomy. Using terms like “approach” or “roles” seems a bit too permanent when one considers the act of teaching and learning as being complex. Instead, being a didactic instructor, facilitator, and coach resemble “activities” as opposed to roles or approaches since teachers, students, and other actors within the learning ecosystem move in and out of these positions quite fluidly depending on the particular discourse. The goal of the teacher is to be prepared to move in and out of these three positions as well as create the same mindset with the students in a way that promotes sustainability. Sustainability will thus allow for learnings – or “understandings” (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005) to emerge in a more natural and profound way.

  2. I’m thinking that it is appropriate that networked learning as described by Wendy Drexler’s study contain many unknowns, lest it become prescriptive.

    I notice she says more studies were necessary to flesh out ‘best practice’. But if one were to apply Dave Snowdon’s ‘safe fail’ and ‘worst practice’ to a secondary group within each study then the learning outcomes may be just as or apparently possibly more significant?

    The glaringly obvious to me is how can a teacher be so involved with tech trouble shooting when that is not their capacity. This networked student approach is for an advanced new breed of ed tech teacher and/or an approach that needs to use the students themselves as the scouts, exploring tinkering and guiding their classmates. I feel that the students can play that tech role?

    And that as citizens become more tech literate this networked learning model will become natural, the teachers will rise to the occasion, but may no longer be called ‘educators’?

    I also feel that the indoctrination process is so long and strong it takes some time to gain sea legs and learn beyond the security of a ‘teacher/guide’.

    However if we started as self-directed learners-which we naturally do as preschoolers, then the dependency by high school would be non existent?

    On a final thought I would so love to implement a version for vocational students…I need a techie twin!

  3. Pingback: What is the role of a teacher? « Suifaijohnmak's Weblog

  4. Thanks Ruth for your insights. I share your questions. I think it’s not easy to become fully “self-directed learners” at an early age or even for teens, except for those who are highly talented and have been supported by their parents and teachers to take reasonable risks.

  5. Pingback: #PLENK2010 Research into the Design and Delivery of MOOC | Suifaijohnmak's Weblog

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