Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blog Post #7

pyramid of type of learners title=
Is it best for teachers to lecture or teach their students to find the answer themselves?
As I watched the video The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler it raised several questions that made me think about several theories. We all know that technology is everywhere around us. Some educators believe that incorporating technology in their classroom is a must. Other educators are not on board with technology in the classroom. Several educators are still spending several hours of the school day lecturing to students. As a future educator, I want to be an effective teacher whose students are engaged and are using their hands to learn. So, if I want to be that kind of teacher what style is best for me?

Throughout this video, we learn that a 21st century learner is taught by his teacher through the web. They meet on certain days throughout the semester, but the majority that the student is learning is through the web. His teacher is teaching him how to find the answer for himself. She provides tools and support, but he spends majority of his time networking. He is learning where to find valuable information and making connections with others around the world. The student is networking (or making connections) with people or professors that can provide valuable and helpful information. The teacher never spends time lecturing, but the student is still learning the information. So the question is "Why does a networked student need a teacher?"

Without the teacher providing information on how to network the student would never learn where to find information. I immediately picture Dr. Strange as the teacher describe in this video. Dr. Strange is the teacher we may not see in person, but he is there to provide help. Through assignments and projects I have learned how to create a blog, create podcast videos, use a green screen for videos, and much more to come in the next few weeks. Without Dr. Strange I would have not had the guidance of how to learn these technologies. Dr. Strange is the teacher, but he never spends his time lecturing. He provides us with tutorials, instructions, and projects to learn new skills. This way of learning is giving me hands on learning. I am not sitting and listening to him lecture, and I feel I have learned abundance by being a hands on learner. So now the question is "What style of teacher am I going to be as an educator?"

It is clear to me that to be an effective teacher and to be a 21st century teacher I must teach my students to network and teach them how to find the answer by themselves. Students now are engaged by technology so I must use those tools to teach my students. Obviously, I will still meet with elementary students everyday, but while we are in the classroom we will spend majority of our time problem solving. My students will use search engines and making connections with others to find their answers. I will not spend hours of lecturing to my students; however I will be there to support my students and teach them the correct ways of finding valuable information and how to find their information. When students can find their answers on their own they are becoming problem-solving students and can better themselves independently.

graph showing helpful tools in a PLN
Comparing PLN's
As of last week I created my fist personal learning environment. I added several tiles and organized and grouped them according to the type of page it is linked to. So far, I have found several helpful links to help me teaching writing, math, and much more. Also, I added a link to blogger, my email account, and search engines. After viewing Welcome to my PLE by a 7th grade student I have seen many similarities. The student in the video uses her Personal Learning Network for her science class. She has found several helpful links that has taught her an abundance of information on the leopard gecko. She also mentions that she uses a tool to keep her notes organized called "Evernote". This website is very intriguing and after checking it out I have added its tile to my PLN. Her PLE was interesting to view and I have realized that our networks will be forever changing. That is because the web is always changing so my PLN will start with what I have now; however I will be adding and deleting tiles throughout my life.

Thomas Suarez
Thomas Suarez: A 12 Year Old App Developer
If I would have only been listening to this video and not watching I would have guessed that the 12 year old was a grown adult. Thomas Suarez is an intelligent child that has created several apps at such a young age. Not only has created games, but he has started a club at his school that he uses to teach other kids how to create apps. I found it amazing that at such a young age this child is a leader among his peers and he is using his knowledge and sharing it with others; however I think the most wonderful point he made in his speech was that "teachers need to recognize students have these abilities and allow them to use them". So many times there are students in schools that could be future app developers or computer science majors, but they never get a chance to try anything like this because the teacher never allows for technology in the classroom. If we never give the chance for our students to try things through technology it is like stopping their dream before it ever gets started. What an inspiring kid Thomas Suarez is!


  1. Hey Makenzie!

    I really enjoyed reading your blog and everything is set up very nice. Networked students are going to be more and more common during the 21st century. I agree that in oreder to teach our student effectively, we will have to teach them how to be networked students and how to find answers on their own. To me this description sounded a lot like our EDM 310 class.

    It sounds like your PLN is coming along nicely. After creating mine, I have become much more organized. I also will be editing mine throughout my life.

    After watching the video of Thomas Suarez, I also found him to be very inspirational. He has already accomplished so much at such a young age. You are right he is a leader. He is sharing his knowledge with others so they too can learn how to create apps. This was an interesting video.

    P.S. I'm looking forward to our next group project!

  2. Hey Makenzie,

    Great post. :) Thomas Suarez makes me smile. I've been trying to learn how to develop an app using the Xcode developer and it's so hard! I'm amazed with that kid.