Friday, February 25, 2011

Blog Post # 6

The Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

This was an impressive video, it had a lot of ideas that were of interest to me. How wonderful it is that we have computers that enable students to communicate with all kinds of intellectual individuals and to actually learn from them and blend that knowledge into their studies, even when they are at home.

Some of the information listed in the video seemed to be very advanced. This type of learning seems like it would work better with older children. I just can't imagine children below the 4th grade level having the capability to "net work" on the internet.

Children younger than 4th grade know how to use a computer, but can they possibly "know" how to really use a computer to foster their learning in such a way that incorporates everyday activities with traditional teaching? I personally do not think so. I could be wrong, and would love to see it in action for myself.

There are many dangers for young children who are on the internet, especially when they are at home. For example; Little Susie, who is in 2nd grade, gets home from school at 3:30 and her parents are at work. So, the older sister is to watch after Susie for a few hours. Teenage sister goes in her room and leaves little Susie to do her homework, alone. Susie Googles some information and misspells a word, then on her screen pops up all kinds of bad words and information. There is no one supervising Susie while she is googling and browsing the internet for her school assignment. So, while Susie is supposed to be doing her school work, she is getting educated on subjects she shouldn't , all in the name of being a "networked" student. This is why I believe that children shouldn't be expected to have full computer access until they are older.

Why does the networked student need a teacher?

Computers are great tools for education but, they cannot be the only source of information and learning. There needs to be a way to combine computers with traditional teaching so that students benefit from both. Technology can't replace teachers. Teachers are crucial in helping students to stay organized and on task. As well as teaching the required materials to students and help with any issues that may arise.

Am I ready for networked students?

Honestly, I would have to say no at this point, but I am hoping with all that I am learning from EDM 310, I will be somewhat prepared for it.


This 7th graders PLN was great! She had it organized in categories. She keeps her personal sites separate from her school related sites, which helps when she is looking for certain kinds of information. Her PLN is very impressive! My PLN is not as organized nor as big, as I am still building mine. PLNs are a great way for students to stay organized with websites and online learning.


image smartboard with students

Why Smart Board Are A Dumb Initiative By: Michael Stanton

Mr. Stanton, has an interesting perspective on the use and usefulness of a smartboard in the classroom. He doesn't seem to like them, other than because he is a gadget kind of guy. He basically says they are a waste of money and valuable resources that can be used in other needed areas of instruction and curriculum. He feels it doesn't change the overall model of teaching, which is what we should be striving for.

While I can appreciate Mr. Stanton's opinion, I don't agree with him on this matter. Yes, Smartboards are expensive, However, they provide valuable resources for the teachers and students. Often times children are made to sit and pay attention to a lesson being presented by a teacher who is a traditionalist in nature, always teaching in one way and never trying anything new. A smartboard can change that stuck-in-a rut education that teachers sometimes find themselves in. It also keeps the children engaged and excited to learn, which, I believe is crucial to a students educational outcome. Smartboards are a great way to present material in a new and exciting way that fosters creativity and learning.

Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards By: Bill Ferriter

This piece was well written while giving a piece of his mind. I get that he doesn't like interactive white boards, and I see what he is trying to say however, it is his opinion. There are not many studies out there that would prove or disprove his stand on IWB so what he has to say bears no effect on how I feel about them. I think they are great tools, and I have seen many teachers put to good use of their IWBs. Children these days are much more into technology and benefit from lessons that are presented in such a way that makes them interact with the IWB, their teacher, and their peers. What may be good for some teachers may not be good for another. What matters is that students are in an atmosphere that is conducive for learning and further educational development.

Here is an article about how Milissa Gavel, starting using Smartboards in the classroom. Mrs. Gavel sees SMARTboard technology as learning for all.

In contrast Lisa Nielsen an educational administrator shares a short version of why she hates SMARTboards.


  1. Hey Kelly,

    I think you would be surprised at how well some of the younger students can navigate the computers now.

    Your comment at little Susie is a good observation, but there are a few things to remember. If we are the teachers of a network student, then we must be aware of the risk that come with the internet. So, in this situation, the teacher needs to inform the parents that there are ways to block certain things that can be accessed on a computer. All the more reason why we need to technological literate! We need this knowledge to keep our students safe! But, this is a very realistic scenario.

    I like your take on the SMARTboards. I really can't say that I thought about SMARTboards were good for everyone. They really are for those who have the money, and are willing to learn how to use them effectively. Good thought.

    Good post Kelly,

    Stephen Akins

  2. Hello Kelly,

    If anyone knows the dangers of the internet for children, my bet would be on the person with the most parenting experience. =)

    I agree that the internet is a vital tool for learning and teaching, for adults and children.
    But, like you, I think there need to be limits for children.

    I have mixed feelings about smartboards. I think they are great in theory, but they are not cheap. Hopefully in the near future the price will come down or perhaps a used smartboard market will develop.

    Kevin White