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.