Wow! That is all I have to say about this video. If you haven't seen it then stop reading right this instant and play the video directly above. If you are an educator watching this don't think you are being replaced. Just think that your teacherly duties are evolving. Everything changes at some point or another anyways. You just have to roll with it and make the best out of a new and unfamiliar situation. In the end you will find it rewarding to see your students taking control over their own learning. After all, isn't that what all teachers want? To mold our students to be the guide to their own learning while we facilitate and make sure they are on the right path. If you are students watching this extraordinary video, and lets face it we are all students and lifelong learners at heart, didn't you just find it incredibly enlightening? I mean who knew that as students we could control our own learning. Even more so we are able to shape and mold it into what works best for us and how best to receive the information that intrigues us through different resources and technological mediums.
Creating our own Personal Learning Network (PLN)...
Many of you are probably thinking this just isn't possible. How can students be able to learn without a textbook and a teacher to direct them to the learning outcomes? It's really quite simple. Well, actually if you take the video into consideration it kind of looks complicated, but it really isn't. Did you follow that? Let me try to explain it to you. It's really all about connecting the students to one another and to various resources. Those resources are blogs, their own that they will be reflecting their learning on, classmate's blogs, and other professional blogs, online resources, reaching out and Skyping with leading professionals in the field they are studying or listening to podcasts/vodcasts from those professionals, etc. With the use of the Internet there are an infinite amount of ways students can get connected and create their own Personal Learning Network to cater the way they learn best with the content they are studying.
|From flickr.com by: Marc Wathieu|
So far, it seems as if students are just on their own and not really connecting with anyone in particular and they are on their own. Well, I hate to say it but this is so not true. PLNs are not designed to be individual. I mean they are individualized to the student but the student is far from alone in this type of network. PLNs are all about connecting with others through others whether they are commenting on others' blogs or Skyping with leaders in the field they are studying. Commenting on others' blogs is what I think is the main way that the students stay connected. Through the series of commenting on each other's blogs the students get feedback as well as being presented with new frameworks for thinking about what they have learned and even adapting their previous knowledge to reflect new constructions that they have made through their PLN experiences.
After class is over what happens to my PLN?
Hopefully, you will continue to venture out into your PLN long after you finish the required online class or whatever inspired you to start it. The purpose of a PLN is that you continue to develop it long after you leave school. Like I said earlier we are all lifelong learners at heart. We never stop learning. Never. Some of you may think you will never revisit you PLN, but once you get started it will be pretty hard to leave it. After all its YOUR network. YOU designed. YOU found the resources that interested YOU. YOUR PLN is catered to YOUR wants and needs. The key word or better yet words is YOU and YOUR. Remember, this is YOUR network. Not anyone else's. Before you say that it's too hard to start your own PLN think again. Most likely you already have Facebook and Twitter and do you know what that means? It means that you've already started your own PLN without even realizing it! So, keep expanding it. Use Diigo to bookmark websites, blogs, wikis, etc. that interest...your friends, your family, co-workers? No. That interest YOU! Remember what Angela Maires says, "YOU MATTER!"