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Empowering Students to Take Control of Learning

Wendy Drexler
Director, Online
Development

Wendy Drexler is the director
of Online Development in
Continuing Education at
Brown University. She has
been a champion for effective
integration of technology in
K–12 and higher education.
Before earning her doctorate
in Educational Technology,
Wendy managed eLearning
design teams at IBM and
ATT. She remains an active
member of the National
Association of Independent
Schools 21st Century Task
Force. Her research interests
include student construction of
personal learning environments
and balancing teacher control
and student autonomy.

T

he most effective mobile and online technologies in
education will be those that empower students to take
control of the learning process and interact with others in
ways that support knowledge creation rather than content
consumption. Students will construct personal learning environments
that transcend learning management systems and make use of multiple
technologies that connect them to teachers, experts, fellow students, and a
variety of tools for artifact creation.
A simple example of this model took place in a design-based research case
study with 7th graders using various Web 2.0 tools to study poisonous
and venomous creatures. The study found that students applied several
processes to meet the learning objectives of the project, including digital
responsibility, digital literacy, effective organization and synthesis of content, socialization, and creation. Bottom line: The strongest focus should be
on technologies that support and end up in the hands of the learner.

Key Lessons
1

Technology in education
must empower students to
take control of learning.

2

Students must construct
personal learning
environments that
transcend learning
management systems.

“The strongest focus should be on technologies
that support and end up in the hands of the
learner.”

twitter.com/wendydrexler
wendydrexler.com

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Published in: Education, Mobile
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