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.
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?
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.