Friday, February 4, 2011

Why is the digital world important to all of us?

Reading Reflection #2
The digital world is a huge part of our lives as teachers and just regular people.  One of the keys to our digital life is the Internet it is used for communicating thorugh e-mail, researching with search engines, conducting business daily, learning for students, and so much more.  The Internet has an interesting history as outlined from the “Internet Society All About the Internet: History of the Internet” tells in a well in depth how a simple project to collaborate communications between people turned into a worldwide phenomenon.  As a teacher I must understand how this works and look at how my students have change from traditional pencil and paper to a digital student as described by a short presentation of “The Networked Student” by Dr. Wendy Drexler. 

In this presentation, Dr. Drexler shows many digital avenues that the teacher and student use to learn.  In addition to why we need to know how to use the Web to be successful in today’s learning world.  Several points are made, how textbooks are obsolete, how going to class daily is replaced by online coursework, and how a social network enhances a student’s learn by connecting to others around the world to gain access to knowledge. 

The first part tells about “The Networked Student”, which as it turns out parallels how I am learning in my current college course.  I collaborate with others using a blog  and have established a “personal learning network” to enhance my learning experience.  For a simplified version of a blog see Blogs in Plain English.  The opportunities of online learning range from the students in the class to subscribing to an RSS, which allows anyone to learn from experts from around the world.  It seems that the RSS is a key factor in moving us to the Web 3.0, which is our future in surfing and communicating on the Internet.  The most interesting question, then answered, by the presentation is “Why is a teacher needed?”  According to Dr. Drexler several aspects are facilitated by a teacher, which brings me to why I need to know how my future classroom will most likely be run.  The teacher is a leader that “Teaches us how to build contacts, directs questions as the arise, teaches how to identify if the information is valid like and encyclopedia or just an opinion, and finally how to use the Web to its fullest potential.”  This is to create a student who is ready for the 21st century world and can be a positive impact on the world.
Drexler, W. (2008, November 26) The Networked Student [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwM4ieFOotA   

Networking has taken on a new meaning in the digital 21st century.  A network helps to connect you to others and to information from all over the globe.   The Internet seems to be the General or main network, it has Lieutenants that run a regional networks, which in turn has local networks and so forth.  This goes on until your home network is reached.  This would be how you connect your computers, printers, and other multimedia devices to the Internet.  The complexity of the digital world includes the networks how they communicate through a modem and how routers steer information through a digital signal.  The explosion of the Internet has made all of these devices and networks a need instead of a want in order to be connected in all aspects of our lives.  This is the reason why as a teacher I need to know how to use the available resources, that are just second nature to the students who come through my class room door.

3 comments:

  1. Readiness is putting it true and simply. All these advanced in how we connect and communicate in the world is what’s gotten use so concerned about our students not ranking #1 in education. So it is only natural to question what your role is as a teacher and how we may need to adjust our “techiness” at home and in classroom. This course will certainly do that.

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  2. You say, “The explosion of the Internet has made all of these devices and networks a need … This is the reason why as a teacher I need to know how to use the available resources, that are just second nature to the students who come through my class room door.”

    Absolutely, and since we DO have valuable information to share with younger generations, we need to speak their language, or it will be lost. I agree with you and Dr. Drexler, believing teachers are necessary to guide students and facilitate the process of learning. We need to model how to make the connections.

    I work at Valencia. They are role models in connection and support. The department I work for supports me in a manner that allows me to support my students. Valencia also has a multitude of student services and resources. Last semester, I talked about the resources. I offer extra credit to students who utilized the writing center, computer access lab, etc. Very few students took advantage. This semester, I made connections and take my students to various sources. For example, I booked a computer lab in the writing center. We used the computers for class work and a representative talked to us for about 10 minutes. Now, my students have been there, they know what’s available, and I already have more extra credit turned in than last semester.

    Not only do we need to facilitate learning, but we need to evaluate the process to make improvements. We take old concepts of networking, integrate technology, and enable our students to advance with skills for the 21st century.

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