On John T. Spencer's Cartoon
On John T. Spencer's Blog Posts
Mr. Spencer wrote a blog post about a teacher's meeting with a principal. He talks about how he played this game with his students to get them thinking about a certain subject and to get their creative juices flowing. The principal was angry that he had allowed his students to play a game because it is "not learning". But in the end, the solution to the problem is to play a game. But by calling it something else, he pacifies the angry principal. Some administrators, teachers, and parents, are not up to the idea of using abstract methods like playing collaborative games because they believe it to be a waste of time. But there are always situations where students will gain a better understanding of the material through a hands-on activity like a game.
I also read another one of Mr. Spencer's posts about parents. Spencer gives an example of a letter from a parent. The mother is upset that her child, Billy, is being spellchecked by the teacher. If Billy misspells anything, the word is underlined in red and he is asked to correct it by looking up the proper spelling in a dictionary. The mother claims that this will make her son lazy and make him rely on someone else to tell him a word is spelled incorrectly. This of course is absurd, because this form of spellcheck improves a child's knowledge of how to spell words. To make matters worse, the mother's argument is that she never had spellcheck and she writes "real good". She also misspells several words in the letter itself.
On Scott McLeod's Blog Post
Scott McLeod wrote a post about integrating technology in the modern classroom. It's a satirical piece called "Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff, Please?". He talks about all of the tools we have available in education like computers and the internet, and how none of this is safe to trust our children with. If we deprived students of technology, they would be unprepared to further their education, and eventually their career. This post is funny because it is about adults that are afraid to expose their children to modern technology. There are positives and negatives of all aspects of education, but technology is wonderful if used in a helpful and proactive way. I admire Dr. McLeod for writing this, and I agree that students who work with technology will be a step ahead of those that do not. Scott McLeod is "widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues." He is the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency 8 in Iowa, and he is on leave from a different position at the University of Kentucky.