Focused research on student construction of personal learning environments has given me the opportunity to sit back and watch learning from a process perspective. What processes do students go through when constructing personal learning environments?
(Click on the diagram to enlarge.)
The model above reflects the research findings. If you compare this version to the older Networked Student diagram, you see the shift from tools to processes.
As with a flowchart, the rectangles represent processes. The diamonds represent decisions. The student (or the student in collaboration with the teacher) decides which tools to use to support the learning processes.
Some processes in the diagram are not supported by tools, especially in the areas of learning and practicing digital literacy and responsibility. If we truly wish to empower learners and provide our students with the skills necessary to become independent networked learners, then direct instruction is critical and necessary in all five categories. I view the holes in this diagram as the teachable moments, as verification that teachers can be the facilitators of personal learning. Through direct instruction, we can teach our children how to fish, then step back and learn as much from them as they learn from us.
- What do you think about the relationship between direct instruction and personal learning?
- Do you see areas on the diagram that require teacher intervention?
- How many of our secondary and post secondary students are equipped to construct effective personal learning environments?
- What would you add to this diagram?