Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Post # 10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.

After my first look at Mr. Spencer's comic, I was not quite sure what to make of it, but after reading the comments on his blog I gained a better understanding of his point. Mr. Spencer explains the comic as an illustration intended to mock the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials. At first, the comic made me think of how typically it is our human nature to simply take the easier, cheaper, or even faster way to accomplish what is at hand. Once we have done so, we ultimately find ourselves regretting this decision as it comes back to haunt us. Mr. Spencer's point is, although we may not immediately see how the less economical option may benefit us in the long run; this does not necessarily make it the wrong choice. As humans, we often only care about instant gratification. Sometimes we need to realize that it is not always about "What's in it for me right now?". If we broaden our horizons, even just a little, we can see further down the road. As one of the comments on Mr. Spencer's blog stated, "pencil and paper replaced the chalkboard, as the keyboard and tablet will replace the pencil and paper." As teachers we must have the knowledge to effectively and appropriately use technology so that we may pass this knowledge on to our students.

Why were your kids playing games?

In this post, Mr. Spencer takes his readers through the experience of one of his trips to the principal's office. He shares details such as the principal not allowing him to close the door because of his "open door policy. The principal accuses Mr. Spencer of playing games with his students instead of teaching. He tries to explain that the game was both educational and beneficial to the students. He tells the principal that the activity was an advanced stimulation used to produce a mock factory. Mr. Spencer pointed out that soldiers and surgeons use games as a part of their education, but the principal was not changing his tune. The principal told Mr. Spencer that the classroom was neither a war or a hospital. The word "game" can have a different meaning to each individual. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but a different word choice may be needed to satisfy some administrators. As Mr. Spencer states, we tend to think of a game such as tic-tac-toe or a board game. His idea of a "game" is practicing real life scenarios. These types of games allow students to feel a connection with the real world. Students will not only gain knowledge and understanding to benefit them in their future endeavors  but they will also have fun in the process. There is no better way to learn than to be put in the situation itself.

Remember Pencil Quests?

In this post, Mr. Spencer reflects back on his "pencil quests" adventures that he loved as a student. As he looks back, he soon realizes how far technology has led us. He thinks about how something that seemed so exciting to him may not even be used in future classrooms. I attended St. Dominic's from Kindergarten to 8th grade, and I can remember each year going to the computer lab. The computers were big and bulky, but now we have flat screen and more compact computers. I remember almost every assignment involving pencil and paper. This led to a big transition once I entered high school and things became more electronic, such as with As educators, we will go through many phases and transitions with our students. We must be prepared for these changes in order to prepare are students.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

At first glance, Dr. McLeod's post can come across as confusing. Scott McLeod is "widely recognized as one of the nation's leading academic experts on K-12 technology leadership issues." He is the current Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area education Agency 8. He is credited with co-creating the country's first graduate program designed to prepare technology-savy school leaders. Dr. McLeod asks students, teachers and all who are associated with the school not to use technology in the classroom. He explains these tools to be unnecessary. He asks that we not use blogs, Twitter, PLNs, or even cell phones. He is intending to prove his point that technology in the classroom is very beneficial. Students are more prepared when taught by teachers who take advantage of these technology resources. I agree with Dr. McLeod. It is not an easy task to prove to the stubborn individuals of the importance of technology and it's benefits. I will be a teacher who accepts change, and I can only hope that my fellow educators will follow this path as well. More information can be found on Dr. McLeod on his About Me page.

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