The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler
This video is about a theoretical student, named 21st Century Student, who is taught through an online course, without a physical textbook. This student is asked to create his own textbook by using iTunesU, GoogleScholar, his school's library database, delicious, Skype, and an RSS reader in what is called a Personal Learning Network (PLN). This process is guided by a teacher, who ensures that the student is able to set up his PLN. However, the student is very much taught through his PLN.
I thought that this video, The Networked Student, made an interesting point. It suggests that computers replace pen and paper in the classroom and that teachers take a step back and only guide, not teach. Furthermore, it proposes that students should teach themselves by using online resources.
I'm not sure that being self-taught is a perfect solution. In the past, I have taken classes both online and traditionally. That said, I do not think that each student will be so interested in every class that they will be willing to teach themselves about each topic. I think that this is a great method for the student who is deeply interested in a topic, but I don't think that this should be used for every student in every class.
I do advocate students using a PLN and being aware of the resources available, but I think that it's important to remember that we all have certain things that we are very interested in and want to know more about, and others that we have never learned much about and don't have a propensity to learn about. In my mind, it's better to know a great deal about a few things, than not much about many things. I do not think, even in the age of technology, that we can all be very knowledgeable about many things.
A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment (or PLN)
Here is a comparison of my PLN to the PLE depicted in the video.
My PLN has 3 matches with the 7th graders PLE. I think that she and I took different approaches to our PLN's. Hers is set up with tools that can be used to help her put the information she has gather together, where as mine is much more geared toward connecting with people to actually gather the information and knowledge.