Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blog Post #10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga
Upon reading this cartoon I immediately realized it was a mock of the "PC vs. Mac" commercials. I looked over it for a while trying to decide if there was a deeper meaning but couldn't find one. I believe this cartoon is poking fun at the "PC vs Mac" commercials. In reality a PC and a Mac are the same thing- a computer. What I gained from this is that if you stick a fancy name on a product and associate it with a group of people in society who currently set trends- hipsters for example- it becomes expensive and desirable. In this cartoon each character is talking about the same thing: pencils. In the end they both come with lead and an eraser.

Why Were You're Kids Playing Games?
In this post Mr. Spencer writes a dialog between himself and his principal. He is called into the principal's office to discuss playing games with his students "instead of teaching". He attempts to explain to the principal how the "game" he was playing integrated reading as well as problem solving, but the principal doesn't want to hear about it. He cuts off Mr. Spencer and suggests he focus on memorization skills. He also suggests that Mr. Spencer, if he must abandon "slate based learning" that he fill out the algorithm sheets. Mr. Spencer's solution is to "create an algorithm factory and integrate it into our Conflict-Oriented Reading and Writing Project". He calls it the Factory Game-the name of the initial game he got in trouble for.

This post is great. What Mr. Spencer is doing here is showing two things- the principal's misunderstanding of how teaching (and learning) can be done through games and also how as a teacher, if we hit a road bump like the principal in this post, we can re-work things to incorporate learning through activity in our classroom. Many times in this class and others we have discussed how students not only enjoy learning when teachers incorporate art, music or games but also have a greater understanding of the material as well as better retention. What Mr. Spencer is saying in this post is to do whatever it takes to keep these things in the classroom so that our students can have a better chance at learning. I really enjoyed this post, you can almost hear the sarcasm in the writing when he says he will call his "new" game by the same name as the game he was just reprimanded for.

Remember Pencil Quests?
The second post I chose to read was Mr. Spencer's most recent post: "Remember Pencil Quests?". In this post Mr. Spencer describes a game he played as a Sophomore. The teacher takes the students to multiple locations where they each will read a page of information and answer questions about the information. The students are given a map and instructed to follow it; they are not allowed to make their own decision on which location to visit next. Mr. Spencer says that they all ran from one location to the next with excitement. He says that he is embarrassed when he thinks back on that memory. However, he realizes that these teachers who did that back then were pioneers; they did something different.

I read a few of the other posts on Mr. Spencer's blog. I chose this one because I can relate to what he is talking about. I can remember also playing games like "pencil quest" and when I think back on them now I don't necessarily feel embarrassed. What I do feel is a desire to incorporate excitement into my future classroom. As a society that is progressing so quickly I can only imagine what my students will feel is primitive and how quickly they will feel that way. In today's world all we can do is try our best to keep our kids interactive with learning. We should consider ourselves lucky. Back in the day teachers had limited resources to bring into the classroom, now we have the world at our finger tips! We can bring our students to the opera without leaving the classroom, we can teach our students how to navigate around the internet or show them works of art located on the other side of the world. We are lucky and although one day even this technology will be considered "embarrassing" or primitive, we can consider ourselves lucky for the time being.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
I really enjoyed reading Dr. Mcleod's post. When I first began reading it I thought, this is kind of weird; it seems like most of the teacher's blog that we are instructed to read are pro-technology. However, I quickly realized he was being sarcastic and I thought it was great.
Technology seems to always be under attack in some way. It's an easy way to track bullying and mis-use (porn, etc)and I think that is why we are always afraid of it and instill fear into our children as well. I think that teaching our children how to properly use the internet is like giving them a key that can open any door to any information they might want both good and bad. It is our responsibility to show them how to use this tool successfully. I read the comments from spring 2011. I agree Don Tapscott when he said,"This is the first time in history when young people may know more than adults about something that's important." I also agree with Dr. Mcleod when he says if you really think about Mr. Tapscott's comment, it is a little frightening. We are seeing a change in the world unlike any other and it is our job to teach our children how to embrace it, not shield them from it.

Dr. Mcleod is serving as the Director of Innovation at Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8. He is on leave from his position as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. Dr. McLeod also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators. He has won several awards and just completed his first book "What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media".

1 comment:

  1. Kathryn,
    You made a great point when you discussed the wide variety of information that can be gained from the internet. Like you said, there was a time when watching an opera or viewing artwork from around the world was not as easy as turning on a computer. Your post is informative and you voiced your opinion on the topics well. I did not notice any spelling errors; however, there are a few sentences that would flow smoother by inserting a comma. In the sentence "Many times in this class and others we have discussed how students not only enjoy learning when teachers incorporate art, music or games but also have a greater understanding of the material as well as better retention." there are a couple of places a comma could have been used. For example, I would have placed a comma between the word "games" and "but". Overall, I enjoyed reading your post.