Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blog Assignment #10
Adventures in Pencil Integration

I must say, it took me a few minutes to figure out the metaphor for this picture. However, I realized John T. Spencer's cartoon, I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga. is comparing a PC to a Mac. The Papermate pen is representing a PC and the Ticonderoga is representing a Mac. Spencer is showing in his cartoon that although a Papermate pen, like a PC, is cheaper, it might not be as reliable as a Mac and have more problems. The Ticonderoga is a more expensive purchase, like a Mac, but people might be unwilling to spend the money on one. The cartoon is saying that buying a Mac is a better choice, because in the long run, it will last longer and buyers will experience fewer problems than with a PC.
Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?

In this post, Mr. Spencer has written a dialogue between a principal and himself, as a teacher. In the conversation, the principal makes inquiries about Mr. Spencer's teaching methods. It seems as though Mr. Spencer was playing games with his students to go along with his lessons. The principal does not approve of this teaching method. He mentions that he understands that Mr. Spencer is trying to connect the games to learning, but he says it's a stretch. The principal wants Mr. Spencer to use worksheets and have the students fill out packets of algorithms. Mr. Spencer's solution is to create an algorithm factory and integrate it into a Conflict-Oriented Reading and Writing Project called the "Factory Game".

I think in his post, Mr. Spencer is saying that there is nothing wrong with playing games to get a lesson across to the students. I thought it was clever how he managed to side-step the principal's rule and still find a way to integrate games into his lessons. I think the principal is narrow-minded with his approach to teaching. He is only concerned about the students passing their rote memorization tests, therefore he wanted Mr. Spencer to focus on rote memorization skills. In my opinion, the principal should be more concerned with making sure the students will remember what they are learning. Active, hands-on learning will produce these results, not worksheets.

The second post I read is called, I Banned Pencils Today. In this post, Mr. Spencer talks about how he has fought and continues to fight for the use of technology in his classroom. He says there is a need for media in his classroom. These tools are highly important, as are pencils and paper, but we cannot forget that the most important tool is our brain. Basically, he says that he asked his students to put away their pencils and paper during their math lesson. He asked his students to find the volume of a cylinder that is twenty inches wide and twenty inches tall. His students fidgeted a bit and seemed to be uncomfortable with solving this problem without writing it down. It took awhile for them to answer the problem but eventually, they all reached an answer and then shared how they came up with their answers with a partner.

Mr. Spencer wanted his students to realize that the greatest learning tool they possess is their minds. We rely too much, I believe, on calculators, the internet, and auto correct for learning, especially when it comes to math and spelling. Students need to sharpen their brains and not be afraid to come up with answers without outside help.
Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Scott McLeod is currently serving as Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa. He is also the founding director of UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education, or CASTLE. Dr. McLeod's blog Dangerously Irrelevant addresses technology leadership issues.

In the post, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?, Scott McLeod pens a sarcastic poem to parents, teachers, and school administration telling them not to let children use the internet. Children don't need to learn how to search the web, blog, collaborate, make videos, or PLNs. He basically says that nothing good comes from the internet. Children will look at pornography, hook up with predators,and become victims of cyber bullying. We don't need our children creating, thinking, sharing, and learning. How repulsive! Then Dr. McLeod proceeds to say that he is using technology and the internet to teach his students. He will take his chances and show everyone how well his students turn out.

I found Dr. McLeod's post to be humorous and very true. Children need to be exposed to the technology and tools that the 21st century has to offer. It is impossible to protect our children from all of the bad that happens in the world. We can, however, educate them on how to properly use the internet and monitor their usage. Children deserve to have the best education possible and that includes using all forms of technology.

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