Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blog Post #10 John Spencer & McLeod

Paper Mate and Ticonderoga Pencil Cartoon
Papermate Vs. Ticonderoga
          This picture is mocking the old Mac versus PC commercials. The man representing Papermate is a very, "Average", "Blue Collar", type of man similar to the PC. He buys the Papermate for the same reason people buy PC's, they are cheaper. They are economically smart, but may not be the best option in the long run. Ticonderoga is equal to a Mac. It is more expensive than the PC, but more likely to work better for longer. While the general population uses their Papermate (PC) he is using the more expensive, Ticonderoga (Mac). This is an extremely clever metaphor. It makes the comparison between the two computers easier to pinpoint. 

Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?
            Mr. Spencer's story describes a big issue in our current education system. Which is that a lot of educators become so consumed with the need for high scores on standardized tests, that they forget about the importance of creativity. The principal in this dialogue says, "If we want students to pass the rote memorization test, we need to focus on rote memorization skills." With this mindset, school becomes a tedious event in which students spend their days copying book text, and memorizing vocabulary. However; the students never really learn how to apply what they have learned to the next level. 
             In grade school, I remember my teachers had fun little games to stimulate our learning. On of the best activities were our, "Math Wiz", quizzes in first through third grade. Each week we got a sheet of paper with 150 simple math problems, and the student who answered the most (Correctly) in 60 seconds, won. By middle school, I knew MDear Aunt Sally backwards and forwards. I retained the information because I was EXCITED TO LEARN. My personal heroes are the creators of, "School House Rock." They taught us  about grammar, math, immigration, and even the government and its voting processes. Each topic was turned into a creative and catchy song, that people still can recite. We were happy to watch movies, but we learned from them. Not everything is as standardized as Mr. Spencer's, "Principal", suggests. 

            I didn't realize this until I took EDF315, but my high school is totally a standardized school. Teachers would actually say, "I don't care about this, but its on the ARMT and the AHSGE so we'll learn it." If teaching is not fun for the teacher, learning will not be fun for the students. I think Spencer does an excellent job with his teaching. Even his blog posts are enjoyable to read! 

Capturing Reality:
Camera with film strips
           This is one of many interesting posts I read by Mr. Spencer. His dialogue is between himself and Paul the Preindustrial Poet. In this post he is basically conveying that each aspect of technology is good in certain contexts. The poet never takes photos, because he would rather be participating in the photo-worthy activity than take pictures of his family enjoying the activity. "But technology makes it much easier to capture reality in a way that we miss it. We become recorders rather than participants."
           I think that is a valid point. However; Mr. Spencer points out that we are always adjusting, so the, "Live now and interpret later", idea is crazy. This post was really intriguing to me. I found myself at a personal crossroads. I have such a vivid memory, and yet I always take pictures of everything I see. I find that the pictures mean more to me later in life, because they will help revamp my memory. It seems like with this example, pictures are like a back up plan for your mind.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?
            Dr. McLeod's post is very sarcastic. At first, he seems to say, "PLEASE don't teach your students about technology." But as you read the poem, you realize that he actually means, "Please don't teach YOUR kids about technology, because I am teaching MY kids that stuff, and I want mine to have the leg up in life." I feel as if he is challenging us as the future of education to integrate technology with learning. Society as a whole is becoming very technology centered. I think Dr. McLeod's point is that we need to educate our students about this growing phenomenon. 
           Technology when allied with education opens a world of limitless learning. Through blogging, and PLN's we can collaborate with people all over the world in seconds. Just in my lifetime we have gone from, Post offices, to e-mailing, to texting, and now social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The way technology progresses, I would consider it an injustice to our future students to keep them restricted to this pencil and paper type of learning.  

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