Papermate VS Ticonderoga: War of the Quality
Upon reading this week's blog assignment, I wasn't sure what a Ticonderoga was nor it's purpose. Thank God for Google search. On Teacher Blog Spot, they said that Ticonderoga is a type of pencil and that it is better than the Papermate brand because of it's smooth, smudge-resistant erasers and the quality wood is to make it was better than it's competitor. After reading some of the comments on his post, I realized that the cartoon is not really comparing pencils, but computer brands, PC and Mac to be specific. I love how Mr. Spencer uses satire and metaphors in his analogy.
The Papermate represents the PC. PCs are not as costly (like Papermate pencils), so they are affordable. However, they break down constantly and the money you saved by purchasing it is not going into repairs, upgrades and possibly a new computer if the damages are bad enough. Macs ("Ticonderoga pencils") are much more expensive than PCs, but they don't break down as much.
I think the moral of the cartoon is, it's better to go ahead and spend the extra money on a quality piece of equipment than try to save money on a lesser quality piece of equipment that breaks down and need repairs that can cost more than the actual equipment itself.
Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?
In another post by John T. Spencer, he brings up a conversation he had with his supervisor about "playing games" in class instead of working on memorization skills, even though the students "had to read various scenarios and describe their solutions in a text. It was real interactive and the kids were engaged". In the end, Mr. Spencer talked his supervisor into allowing him the play an "algorithm factory" game to prove his methods help instead of hinder. Mr. Spencer was rebuking the traditional "burp-back" method of teaching and trying a new approach. I loved how he pointed out to his supervisor that soldiers and doctors play "games" when they are practicing to become better in their professions. So, why shouldn't
I was kind of appalled by the supervisor's snarky implications that games are just a waste of time that don't help students learn. I remember learning better when playing games than having my teacher lecture for an hour. We played memory games, simulation games, action games on test mes involving theatre and several other styles of games. I know I did the best on test that we reviewed for with a game of some sort. My favorite was a Jeopardy style game where we could play individually or in teams. I learned, but I also had a lot of fun!
Please Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
In the last post, by Scott McLeod, he was extremely sarcastic, but hilarious and to the point. In his post, he acts as a person opposing any kind of technology usage in the classroom. No phones, no tablets, laptops, nothing. in his "argument" he states that kids can't be trusted with the technology handed to them because they will not use it appropriately. He points out that they will not do their assignments because the kids will be too busy goofing around, trying to find porn, bully each other and other claims. While he does have a point that kids can be mischievous with technology, I believe with proper training from an early age, they will learn how to use technology for not only entertainment, but for educational and professional use as well.
I came from a school where we were not allowed to have access to any kind of technology unless we were in typing class or the library. After being in Dr. Strange's class, I feel like I have missed out on a lot! I've learned things that are not only beneficial to me in my education, but things that are and will be beneficial in my classroom one day.
Scott McLeod is one of the leading experts in K-12 technology leadership issues. He is a professor at Iowa State University in Educational Administration and blogs about issues in technology leadership in his own blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, and occasionally in the Huffington Post. He created Leader Talk which is the first group blog for school leaders by school leaders, and he co-created Did You Know? (Shift Happens) with Karl Fisch.