Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Post #10

Adventures in Pencil Integration

John T. Spencer has a very intriguing webpage, Adventures in Pencil Integration. The pictured comic above is from his post, I'm a Papermate, I'm a Ticonderoga. As explained to a fellow student, this comic was made to imitate the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials that were circulated through the media. I felt a tad bit confused by it at first, and am still somewhat fuzzy. However, the point I think that he makes possibly lies within a person's preference. Certainly the two brands differ widely, but its really up to a certain individual whether which one is truly the best. Someone concerned with money, like broke college students such as myself, may want the cheaper products in order to put the rest of our tight budget to better use. Someone else may argue that the Ticonderoga will pay for itself since it is of better quality and not as easily broken.

As I browsed through various other posts from Mr. Spencer, I began to notice a trend. Although I do not fully understand the purpose of some of his posts entirely, I think that the big picture is more visible. In his post, Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?, it explains a situation in which the principal disagrees with the use of games inside the classroom. As a person who enjoys finding the most entertaining and catchy way to teach things, I must argue against the view of this principal.

Most of Mr. Spencer's posts are similarly thought provoking, as well as entertaining. Since I do feel that I am uncertain of the truest message from him, I don't feel at liberty to provide that here. When I read one of the first posts on his blog, Remember Pencil Quests?, I felt like I missed out on some education high point. I have always been a fan of scavenger hunt events. It is obvious to me that Mr. Spencer prefers a more conventional way of teaching that causes the students to maintain communication in the most basic form, pen pals that are handwritten. I worry that we are becoming much too reliant on technology as it continuously develops. Certainly, I enjoy having a "smarter than me" phone that can provide just about any information I need at a moments notice as long as the service is there to support it. I also enjoy that I can use the internet for homework and communication. The downside though is the skills that seem to be slipping away from us as a result. I find more and more that whenever I sit down to eat at a restaurant, I can look around and pick out at least 5 couples, families, or friends, who are not engaged in any conversation and physical socializing whatsoever. Instead they all have their noses buried in their phones, some of which I have witnessed texting the person across from them. At the young age that I am, this absolutely terrifies me. I dread the day that technology goes wrong because the majority of the world will not be able to carry out basic functions.

If not now, when?

Dr. Scott McLeod is known for his various professionalism towards some of the issues that are arising in grade school academics. He has been employed by various universities and is a founding director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education, more commonly known as CASTLE. In one of his posts, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?, he almost posts in a poetic format. Throughout the post, he touches on the positives and negatives of technology in its various forms. Though I can agree with his viewpoint on all sides, I do feel that technology is important. Especially since we are moving further into a world that relies on technology to function. I find this to be a bittersweet fact. I have always felt, and certainly have stated in my posts at least once, that when technology is up, it's up, but whenever it goes down, I just want to rip my hair out. It is nearly impossible to reverse these changes. We live in a world that is becoming too accustomed to instant gratification. We want everything, and we want it as soon as possible.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Metaphors and sarcasm appear to give you problems.
    Papermate is a metaphor for a PC. Ticonderoga is a metaphor for a Mac. The cartoon characters resemble the stars of the long series (66 over 4 years) of Apple ads starring John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac.

    The message of Mr. Spencer's post in which the principal wants him to practice "drill and memorize" activities instead of projects or other learning approaches. All to pass the tests.

    The message of Mr. McLeod is: you can try to keep your kids away from technology which is fine with me. Mine will use it and speed past your kids in skills, abilities and rewards.

    1. Dr. Strange,

      I feel that I grasped both concepts in the cartoon and that of Mr. Spencer's post regarding the event with his principal. If I did not properly express it, then I will have to work on it. The only direction we can go is up in our education.

      Thank you for clarifying Mr. McLeod's message. I seemed to try and understand it, but the comprehension just wasn't wanting to work for me. I guess you could say that my blonde was showing there. Haha. The message makes perfect sense now!

  3. This is Blog Post #10. Please change your title.

  4. I agree with you when technology goes down, it is nerve wracking. Enjoyed reading your post and I feel technology is important as well. I agrue against the principal too. I can't beleive he was called to the office for "playing games." Wow, it is almost scary to think we will be teaching in schools like that.