Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blog Post #10

I'm a Papermate. I'm a Ticonderoga.
I reviewed Mr. Spencer's cartoon and read the comments left by everyone else. At first glace I wasn't sure how to take the picture. After reading over the comments, I found one left by Mr. Spencer that explained it. It's a mock of the old "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials. That makes complete sense to me. It's saying that Papermate is the more economical choice, like the PC. In being more economical, it is not necessarily the most dependable choice. The Ticonderoga is the equivalent to the Mac. Stereotypical "hipsters" are the ones that spend outrageous amounts of money on Macs and Apple products.
Why were your kids playing games?
Mr. Steven's post was quite the comical one. He is called into the principal's office to have a serious discussion. He is interrogated about his student's playing "games" during class. Mr. Steven's explains to the principal that he was using advanced simulation as his teaching technique that day. He then tells his principal that doctors use simulation to learn how to operate. His principal then rants about how his school isn't a hospital and that Mr. Steven's needs to adhere to the slate-based learning method. He is also told that he needs to focus more on his students' memorization skills so they can pass a test. His principal then recommends that he use worksheets and algorithm packets to help his students. Mr. Stevens then finds his solution, "we'll create an algorithm factory and integrate it into our Conflict-Oriented Reading and Writing Project (a.k.a. The Factory Game)."

I thought this was hilarious! It sounds exactly like something I would do if I were a teacher and someone told me I needed to take the fun out of my curriculum. A principal should never tell his teachers to take games out of learning. Students will never learn anything if they aren't engaged in what they are doing. I think Mr. Steven's stubbornness as a teacher might get him into a bit of trouble, but it will certainly benefit his students more. Kudos to him for standing up for himself.

Remember Pencil Quests?
Mr. Stevens reflects on his junior year and how one of his teachers took them on a "Pencil Quest". They ran from site to site reading pages and pages of material. Each site we predetermined on a map. The teacher described this quest as a "moving textbook" and the conflict driving the quest was to finish it. Stevens says he and his fellow classmates loved the quest. He also mentions that this was his first recollection of a teacher doing something differently: integrating excitement into the classroom. He says even now, his own students look forward to pencil quests, plogs, and pen pal letters.

I believe Mr. Stevens is trying to point out that pencils are still relevant in today's society. In a day when everything is "going green" or becoming paperless children still become excited about the written word. I guess he's trying to say that technology isn't everything and we shouldn't entirely throw out old techniques of learning. I do like the idea of "plogs". It could potentially become something that students or their parents hold on for years.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Don't teach your kids this stuff

In Mr. McLeod's post he tells parents and teachers to avoid teaching their children how to use computers, write online, and anything of the sort. He goes on to mimic simple-minded thoughts saying the internet is evil. At the end McLeod says he wants everyone else to avoid teaching their children these things because he is teaching these skills to his kids and he wants to see who has the advantage later on. His post is completely sarcastic.

He's saying that students that are taught computer skills correctly are going to have the greater advantage later on. He's mocking the thoughts of parents and school board members who believe that the internet is nothing but "evil" and "a bunch of crap". I thought Mr. McLeod's take on the subject was executed in an interesting way and I enjoyed it immensely. I agree with him completely that the internet should be taught to students. Students need to be taught how to effectively utilize their resources. For instance, almost everything I know about the internet I taught myself. I grew up using AIM Instant Messenger which taught me how to type. In middle school I had a Myspace. Myspace taught me a little about html and embedding information onto a social network. I would have learned more in a school setting. In this class we are taught how to utilize the information not only to benefit our future careers, but to benefit the education of the students we will one day teach.

Scott McLeod appears so passionate about using technology in the classroom because that's what he's literally centered his life around. This man has received numerous awards for his work involving technology leadership, according to his About Me. He is also a man of many important titles. His work of introducing technology into the school systems is never-ending. He is dedicating his career to helping schools move into the 21st century. He also blogs regularly. You can read his blogs yourself by clicking here.


  1. Hi Hillary. I enjoyed reading your blog. I agree with you when you say that children would never learn if we take the fun out of learning. I say a couple of comma errors through out the blog. Such as:
    "that technology isn't everything and we shouldn't" = everything, and we
    "In Mr. McLeod's post he tells"= should be post, he
    There were a few others similar to that.

  2. Hi Hillary,

    Great post! You provided a good analysis on the cartoon. I did not understand it either until I read the comments too! After that, it made complete sense! As for your opinion about games and engagement, I am not sure if students will "never" learn anything if they aren't engaged in what they are doing. Throughout my life, I have learned without being engaged or had "fun" while doing it. I was told to read the book, instruction, and etc. All the things that's deemed wrong in the educational system is what I grew up with and I think went through it fine. Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with that way of learning and I, probably, could've learned more if it was fun and engaging. Either way, times have changed. We need to change the system to accommodate. With the advancement of technology in society and people's lives, we need to incorporate it into our classrooms in order to make full use of it and provide a fun-filled classroom. Stimulations are great because it's hands-on. The student gets to experience it for themselves. It is beneficial. I disagree with the principal too. He is just looking at it on an administrative standpoint. That is the problem with most of the schools these days. They are worried about how they rank in comparison to other schools, about the students' grades, and etc.

    Similar to what Dr. McLeod is trying to point out, we need to accept technology. Technology is not evil. Times have changed and the way of learning is going to change. People need to accept that reality. We cannot go back in time. Old ways work in the past but not entirely for the future.

    Aside from that, your post is organized! Your images and links work too. I see that you implemented HTML codes for sources and gave each section a title. I did notice some spelling and grammatical errors along with awkward sentence structures. For example:

    "At first glace I wasn't sure how to take the picture."
    Glace should be glance.

    "Each site we predetermined on a map."
    The usage of we. Is that a typo? I don't understand what you are trying to say.

    A lot of ___ then... ___ then. You can use different transitional phrases so it doesn't sound repetitive.

    "For instance, almost everything I know about the internet I taught myself..."
    To me, this is a little awkward. "For instance, I taught myself ..."

    I usually run my post through Microsoft Word spell check and then re-read it again. I re-read it again because Microsoft word does not recognize context. I hope this helped. Great job!

    Anna Zhuo

  3. Hi Hillary,

    You got the sarcasm that Mr. McLeod was trying to convey. I think some of the other comments are great guides for better writing.

    Stephen Akins