Based on my own experience I would agree with Drexler (2010) in that a networked learning approach gives the student the possibility to take learning outside the classroom while adding that this can be done without necessarily being affiliated to an institution. Citations like those of Atwell (2007) and Aviram et al (2008 in Drexler): 'Personal learning implies autonomy and self regulation', however, 'more responsibility and control does not mean more motivation' (Dede 1996 in op.cit.) made me reflect on my own experience and how the key to my sustained motivation along these years as has been passion and choice as mentioned by Boekaerts (p374). I also found interesting Steeples and Jones' (2002 in op.cit) claim that networked learning promotes connections between people but also between people and resources almost giving technology an identity itself. I was familiar with Couros' (2008) networked teacher model and find Drexler's networked student a realistic adaptation. Jonassen et al's (2003) argument on how meaningful learning takes place via knowledge construction, conversation, articulation, collaboration, and reflection also made me reflect on the fact that quite often, in my own context, only some of these elements are present in the different areas that compose my own and our own learners' PLE as described by Drexler. Striking a 'balance between teacher control and student autonomy' (McLoughlin and Lee 2010 in op.cit.) is more an ideal than a current state of affairs not only in the integration of technology but also in the education sector. Also, while reading the conclusions I could not help but be reminded some of the recurrent ideas present in some of the previous readings: the importance of professional development, teacher's attitudes towards technology as a determining factor in its effectiveness, motivation and technical aptitude being also key factors along with self regulation in the implementation of a networked student approach and design. Finally, I believe Wang's (p370) definition of the teacher role 'as facilitator or coach in a s-centred approach' encapsulates the essential, perennial and often forgotten or even ignored features of our profession.
Drexler, W. 2010. The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 26(3), 369-385.