Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blog Post #10

I'm A Papermate, I'm a Ticonderoga
papermate cartoon
John T. Spencer posted this cartoon on his blog Adventures in Pencil Integration. The idea behind the cartoon is a papermate is cheap; however, it's cheapness shows through as it breaks all the time. The ticonderoga is expensive but it is a high quality product. The papermate and the ticonderoga can symbolize many different things in our lives, but the point is the same. People try to save money by buying things such as the papermate because they are less expensive. The problem is the papermate breaks often and people end up spending more money replacing them. The ticonderoga is expensive but is a high quality product that will be well worth the money spent. It is common to hear the excuse that technology is too expensive. Of course, a pencil is cheaper than a laptop, but the resources and opportunities technology offers students far exceeds those of the pencil.

Why Were You're Kids Playing Games

In Mr. Spencer's blog post he tells a story of a teacher being called into a principals office. The principal is upset with the teacher for letting his students play games in class. He hardly gives the teacher the opportunity to explain what the children are doing and the knowledge they are gaining from this activity. Instead he insist that the students focus on memorization. The problem with this is they are just memorizing facts rather than learning information they would retain from hands on experience. The principal is more concerned with the "rote memorization test" than the students actually learning.

I read many of Mr. Spencer's blog posts because they were a little different from some of the others we had read. I enjoyed many of the different posts I read but my favorite would have to be When A Child Hates Pencils. This post is the story of a young boy who breaks his pencil on the very first day of class. Normally, the student would get in trouble and get sent out of the classroom for this behavior; however, his teacher feels it is not the boys fault that he feels this way about pencils. The principal encourages the teacher not to give the student another pencil until he is "mature" enough to handle it, but the teacher decides to take another approach. The problem isn't the pencil, but what it symbolizes to the boy. For years, the boy has been given failing grades on his writing assignments. His teachers have attempted to bribe him to do well with stamps and peppy praise, but that did not work. This teacher encourages him to create whatever he would like with his paper and pencil. He explains that it is not about a grade or judgement. His goal is feedback. I really enjoyed this post because this is a problem with many teachers. They are so focused on a grade and right or wrong that they lose sight of the creativity and learning of the children. I look forward to reading more from Mr. Spencer.

toy story photo

Don't Teach Your Kids this Stuff. Please?

I really enjoyed this post and honestly got a bit fired up reading some of the comments. First of all, although Mr. McLeod has a very sarcastic tone, I think he is simply stating that if you don't want your kids to use technology, that's great. That just gives his kids a huge advantage because they will use technology, and they will be more prepared in the future than the kids that aren't.

Secondly, it really irritates me that people act like the internet is all for dirty websites and kids meeting strangers online. Guess what?! Before the internet, people could still get their hands on videos and images they shouldn't see. The internet is by far not the only source for this stuff, and taking technology away is not going to illuminate their access to it. Don't get me wrong, I want to protect my kids and shelter them from this junk as well, but I want to do it in every aspect. Not by taking away their biggest resource. The internet is not evil! This is just another excuse people use for not wanting to use technology.


  1. Courtney you have done a fantastic job describing Mr. McLeod's post and videos. I really enjoyed all of his blogs and illustrations he put together to explain the importance of technology. The cartoon picture by Spencer was very unique in it's meaning and i felt the picture itself gave off a very simple but powerful statement of how the cheapest way is certainly not always the best route to go. I love the video you chose of Mr. McLeod's as your favorite! What a neat way to improvise as a teacher in order to help a student. Keep up the good work on your blog post, I love all the wonderful bright colors!

  2. Courtney,
    Great post! The last part about Dr. McLeod sums it up perfectly. People who form such arguments against the incorporation of technology are grasping at straws because they hate change. It is easy to focus on the negative for some people, but you are right that danger is everywhere. If we place our students and children in an isolated bubble, they will be even less prepared when they face challenges from the outside world. Also, they will be more naive knowing less about technology if it isn't taught to them, and will be more likely to accidentally stumble into its bad side. As my dad always says, it costs less to be prepared.
    Keep up the good work and keep the creative juices flowing! :)

  3. One other thing I forgot: please see the class blog about Blog Post #10! It will clarify and lock in your understanding of the "Ticonderoga" post. That is all for now!