Wendy Drexler – Creation of PLE in Grade 7 science class #oped12 #vsmooc12

I think that Wendy Drexler’s research on the creation of PLE’s in the science classroom is the very close to what I am thinking in the creation of the Open Classroom – courses. Although the courses will be much shorter, but ultimately lead to a project, Wendy’s student completed their Open Course -in their regular f2f classroom.

Wendy’s Research: A Networked Learning Model for Construction of a Personal Learning Environment

This is the outline of the unit for Science 7:

The Networked Student Unit Plan – 9 Weeks
Unit Objective: The student will model the scientific method through the construction of
personal learning environments to research a self-selected topic in life science.

Preparation – 2 weeks
• Teacher introduces the scientific method, what it means to be a scientist, and how to
think like a scientist. Students embark on a scientific exploration based on the scientific
method. Each student selects his or her topic of study, conducts a KWL (what you
know, what you want to know, what you learn), and establishes a research question and
• Acceptable/Responsible Use Policy is discussed and signed by each participating
• The project is positioned within the following perspective. What if your teachers
disappeared and you had to learn on your own? Would you give up on learning? Where
would you begin? Why would learning be important? You are an empowered learner.
You have the power to learn anything. How much you learn is up to you. How you
manage your learning is up to you. How you manage your time is up to you. A big part
of your success will depend on how well you are organized.

Introduction of Tools – 2 weeksWeb applications are introduced one at a time to give
students the chance to master the tool within the context of the study topic. Digital literacy is integrated into these lessons as needed. The essential questions of digital literacy are presented. Where can you go for good information? How do you know if you can trust what you find? How will you find subject matter experts you can trust to help you learn? Why is reflection important when you are learning something new? Why is it important to share what you’ve learned? How will you share?
Web Application (Networked
Tool Used in
Student ActivityLevel of Structure
Social Bookmarking (RSS) Delicioushttp://delicious.com/
  • Explain Really Simple
  • Syndication (RSS) and evaluation of Websites
  • Set up the account
  • Subscribe to each others
  • accounts
  • Bookmark and read at least 5 reliable websites
    that reflect the
  • content of chosen topic
  • Add and read at least 3 additional sites each
Note Taking (InformationManagement) NoteFishhttp://www.notefish.com
  • Create NoteFish account
  • Begin content collection
News and Blog Alert (RSS) Google Alerthttp://www.google.com/alerts
  • Create a Google Alert of keywords associated
    with selected topic
  • Read news and blogs on that topic that are
    delivered via email daily
  • Subscribe to appropriate blogs in reader
Personal Web Aggregator(RSS, InformationManagement) Symbaloohttp://symbaloo.com
  • Introduce Symbaloo
  • Customize page
  • Start by creating a social bookmarking gadget
  • This will build as students learn new tools


News and Blog Reader(RSS) Symbaloo RSS Feedshttp://symbaloo.com
  • Search for blogs and newsfeeds devoted to
    chosen topic
  • Subscribe to blogs and newsfeeds to keep track
    of updates.
  • Set up gadgets in Symbaloo


Personal Blog (RSS) EduBlogshttp://www.edublogs.org
  • Create a personal blog
  • Post a personal reflection each day of the
    content found and experiences related to the use
    of personal learning environment
  • Students with similar topics subscribe to each
    others blogs in reader
Internet Search(Information Management,Contacts, and SynchronousCommunication) Google Scholarhttp://scholar.google.com/
  • Conduct searches in Google
  • Scholar and library databases for scholarly
  • Bookmark appropriate sites
  • Consider making contact with expert for video


Podcasts (RSS) TunesUhttp://www.apple.com/itunes/whatson/itunesu.html
  • Search iTunesU for podcasts related to topic
  • Listen to at least 2 podcasts if possible
Video Conferencing (Contacts and
  • Identify at least one subject matter expert to
    invite to Skype with the class.
  • Video Conferencing
  • (Contacts and Synchronous Communication)

Daily research, reflection, share 3 weeks

Once the personal learning environment is constructed, the student will continue to conduct research and navigate new content on a daily basis. Daily activities should be divided between introducing a tip or offering a research theme for the day, actual time spent conducting research, ten minutes to reflect, and 15 minutes to share

Content Synthesis 1-2 Weeks Glogsterhttp://www.glogster.com
  • Digital science poster in glogster to reflect
    student research within the context the
    scientific method


This is a student video based on the project:

Now I need to think about how I can apply #oc courses into an open environment. At least I have a fantastic template.

2 thoughts on “Wendy Drexler – Creation of PLE in Grade 7 science class #oped12 #vsmooc12

  1. Pingback: Wendy Drexler – Creation of PLE in Grade 7 science class #oped12 #vsmooc12 | Creating an Open Classroom via @downes « juandon. Innovación y conocimiento

  2. Ariff

    Frank,You just have to take it one Web 2.0 tool at a time. Try to attend an onnile or real-life sessions that someone is giving in which they are going over the type of tools that are available and demo’ing a few of them. You can then pick one or two that you feel would best support teaching and learning in your situation.(I am doing a Webinar for Linworth in March in case you are interested!)

Please support my attempts to build knowledge together with some feedback and/or suggestions