Wednesday, September 15, 2010

7 things you should know about...Personal Learning Environments Reflection

This is the very first article I have read for my course.  7 things you should know about...Personal Learning Environments.  In this article the author states:
PLEs represent a shift away from the model in which students consume information through independent channels such as the library, a textbook, or an LMS, moving instead to a model where students draw connections from a growing matrix of resources that they select and organize.
Before our students are able form connections they must first know what resources are available to them.  This poses an interesting conundrum.  Even as we encourage students to form their own PLE it will be necessary to provide some scaffolding for them to operate within.  The challenge will be how to provide enough support without limiting our students to an LMS like Blackboard.  It will also be necessary for students to be able to recognize the validity of the resources that they are likely to encounter as they build their PLE, a factor that students today rarely take into consideration.

The author concludes that PLE has a great implication for teaching and learning and that it
marks a fundamental change in the role resources (people and media) play in teaching and learning. In an environment where information is ubiquitous and needs only to be located, there is a greater premium on skills that support fast and accurate access to information and on the ability to assess that information.
I chose to join this course to learn how to better integrate technology into my future elementary school classroom.  Currently in many elementary schools when students get the chance to go to the "computer lab," they mostly practice typing skills or play a computer "game" that drills them in math facts. What I have realized thus far is that the skills we really need to teach are the ones that will enable our students to actively reflect upon the limitless resources that they have available to them.

Given our current education policies emphasizing standards and benchmarks, is it possible to incorporate this PLE philosophy into a public school classroom?


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