"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?"
-- Thornton Wilder, Our Town

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blog Assignment 6

"The Networked Student" by Wendy Drexler

First of all, I loved this video! It was very creative in my opinion. The way it was written and the way they told the story kept my attention. Secondly, I believe this idea of "connectivism" is extremely helpful to students. The ideas that this video brings forth are really cool in the way that all students are there to help one another.

The example in the video shows a student who is almost self-reliant. His teacher almost never lectures and a lot of his work is online. He must be creative in the way he gets his information. Through the idea of connectivism, he learns of all these ways that he can learn. He learns from other students' opinions, through blogs, iTunesU, and numerous other resources.

Being a teacher of a networked student would probably be a little easier. The average student is dependent on the teacher for every single bit of information in the classroom. I liked the fact that this idea would almost make the student more independent. It would be up to them to reach out to others and look for ways to get information rather than being spoon fed. Students also improve relationships through this. They are able to bond with classmates, other professors, and sometimes even people from all over the world.

"A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)"
I thought this video was very interesting. I loved the organization that this girl had. For a 7th grader I thought it was pretty amazing actually. She seemed to have all her work together. I loved looking at her projects as well. I liked that the students had the freedom to go anywhere on the internet, and yet they still recognized the responsibility to get their work finished. I thought this approach was very interesting.

"The Machine is Changing Us" by Michael Wesch
In the beginning of this video Mr. Wesch begins by comparing George Orwell's book "1984" and Aldous Huxley's "A Brave New World". From the way Mr. Wesch describes "A Brave New World", I believe Huxley is dead on. We are becoming a trivial world. We don't necessarily have a need for books.

I definitely agree with Mr. Wesch when he says that media has changed and shaped our culture. I also like when he discusses Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death". I also believe these thought are right on as well. I found the quote from Henry Canby quite disturbing, especially since it was from 1926. I think people today do feel this way. It's has nothing to do with fame or be know around the world. It just has to do with be different. Look around on any college campus or for that matter any high school campus. Actually, just look any where in the world and you see so many people reaching out desperately to be noticed. They don't want to be another face in the crowd. They just want to stand out for one reason or another. I also agree with Mr. Wesch when he says that we, as a culture, have become rather indifferent. Think about how many times we use the word "whatever".
I liked when Mr. Wesch talked about the fact that when we use YouTube, Twitter, and others, we aren't talking to anyone in particular. We are more or less talking to ourselves. It does make you extremely self-conscious or it makes me anyway. For example, when we had to do our podcasts, I was so nervous about someone I didn't know seeing my work. I also found the Free Hugs Campaign interesting. I have a couple of friends that have shirts that have "Free Hugs" on it. I just never knew what it was about.

I really enjoyed this video. Looking around, I see so many of the things he talks about it his lecture, from people wanting desperately to be recognized to wanting to weep for the future from their spelling alone. As a future English teacher, that particularly upsets me. I'm kind of scared to know what kids of the next generation will be like. That's not to say that all will be bad. It just concerns me. I think our generation is becoming less authentic. We conform. No one has to be themselves due to things like Facebook or Myspace. Someone can be whoever they want and no one would ever know the difference. Overall though, this was an excellent video in my opinion.


  1. I also enjoyed Wendy's video. It was very creative. I wonder if the middle school students can handle connectivism course. I wished my siblings were organized like that 7th grader, but no one is perfect. Michael Wesch's video was very entertaining as well. Youtube videos help people express themselves and their opinions. I can tell you will become a wonder English teacher, so just be yourself and stay positive.

  2. Great post Emily/1

    This 7th grader is impressive. We are all a part of the evolutionary process of education. Today we have new tools and so we use them to provide students the best education we can. Tomorrow the tools will be new again and we want you to be ready to go with the flow and have the right attitude to continue learning and keep your students on the cutting edge of what will give them the best opportunities to succeed.

    Your blog looks good. Move your "About Me" gadget to the top of the right column. SS