Friday, March 30, 2012

Networked Classrooms

What are the advantages or disadvantages of a networked classroom?

 I think some of the biggest advantages are how connected the students are to school by being networked.  You definitely get a lot of collaboration with your students when you have a networked classroom so that is another great advantage.  You almost always stay connected to not only your students but their parents as well when your class is networked.  I think the biggest benefits of a networked classroom are the collaboration and level of communication that you get.  I also agree with Richardson and Mancabelli that network classrooms are “transparent, learning centered, accessible, supportive of problem and driven by authentic assessment.” I do not think there are many disadvantages of a networked classroom, but I think the biggest one is getting all of your students to go along with this.  Also I think for it to be the most successful students need to have access to many forms of technology and internet.  Depending on your school you could have many students who do not have technology or internet at home and a networked classroom would be virtually impossible.  The following website was a good website that gave some advantages and disadvantages of using social networking in your classroom that I thought was interesting.

How can you slowly transition your classroom to become a networked classroom?
I think the biggest way to transition your classroom to become a networked classroom is by getting your students and parents involved as much as possible.  I feel that getting your students and parents informed as much as possible as to a networked classroom and seeing the benefits that it can have to their children is the biggest step.  After getting both the students and parents on board then you would need to familiarize them with some of the technology you would be using with their children.  After getting them familiarized with everything then the last step would be implementing everything.

How could a networked classroom address the diverse needs of all learners (sped, gifted, ESOL, etc.)?

Having a networked classroom helps meets the diversity of all learners because you can use this classroom to teach towards each students strengths.  Using a networked classroom can be beneficial to special education because you can post videos on your teaching so they can review concepts when they get home.  You can have chat rooms so you can help them with their homework when they get home.  You can have step by step directions for their homework.  You could even do Skype chats with them.  As far as gifted students you could have them help setup the networked classroom.  You could have them design a class website and be moderators.  The things are endless on how you can meet the diverse learning styles of your students and that is why I absolutely love technology.


  1. You listed some great ways a networked classroom can help students with homework and support. Another benefit is the ability to differentiate your lessons to meet the needs of the students. Extensions can easily be included for gifted students or those who master a topic quickly. I saw a wonderful story of a teacher who taught her student to use the Search by Reading level feature on Google Search to narrow down topics.
    I did not even know this existed, but what a wonderful way to help meet the needs of all students!

  2. I really liked all of your ideas too. I think one of the keys to familiarizing parents with what the students are doing in the classroom is to offer some technology education to parents. If we're going to ask students and parents to participate, we need to give them opportunities to learn how. This would probably best suited at the beginning of the school year during open house or back to school nights. Our internet usage policies are mostly rules regarding the use of computers in the classroom and the computer lab. But parents need to know to what degree their children will be participating in online lessons and activities. Maybe introducing them in a computer lab and letting them access and participate in similar activities is the way.

  3. In my district there is definitely students that don't have access to computers and the internet. So this would be a disadvantage to some of my students and parents. I this case the teacher would definitely have to plan accordingly. You couldn't expect every student to post to a blog, tweet, or upload and assignment to Moodle unless you give them adequate time in the classroom to do that. You also made a good point about getting parents on board. I think it would be great to collaborate with the LMS at your school to offer some type of parent informational meetings. The LMS could demonstrate to the parents what these kids are using technology for.

  4. I agree with the transparency of education being a benefit. I think that this type of classroom would take more time to maintain but could really reduce the amount of questions from parents. Parents could see what is going on in the classroom and be able to keep the kids more accountable for their work. It always amazes me how many parents have no clue what is going on with their child's education, a networked class would definetly help with that.

  5. I agree with the fact that you get a higher level of collaboration with students. I have students that rarely want to speak outloud in a large group setting, but if I post it to Edmodo they will type a paragraph with an excellent response! I can see how this could also help SPED students as many of them have lower confidence and are not as open to large group participation.