PaperMate and Ticonderoga
From 2006-2009, Apple created 66 ads called the “Get a Mac” series. This series featured a thin, handsome, young and hip actor as “Mac” and an awkward, hefty actor as “PC.” Throughout the commercials, the two would make jabs at each other through wit, sight gags, and one-liners. The cartoon above, also found here, is an obvious reference to this long running commercial series. The PC, or PaperMate here, cost less but is also unreliable. The Mac, or Ticonderoga, while expensive, John Spencer says only “hipsters” use them. Personally, I have always had a PC but longed for a Mac. I would always play with my friends’ and cousins’ Macs and love them. Then through this semester, I have learned new tricks on my computer and had to discover more about Macs. The more I have learned about the computers, I really enjoy my PC, and I don’t plan on “becoming” a Mac! That’s just my personal feelings.
I really like this cartoon because I feel like it’s somewhat true. While some of the programs and software on the Mac is better, they are often associated with hipsters. Also, the price, in my humble opinion, is kind of outrageous.
In Why Were Your Kids Playing Games?, John Spencer talks about how he got in trouble from his principal for “playing games” in class rather than “teaching.” Games are means by which true teaching can occur. So many children have difficulty learning from straight lecture. This reminded me of Randy Pausch’s last lecture where he talks about the “head fake.” The art of teaching involves using engaging and interesting ways to get the children to actually learn the information. From personal experience, the only time that I actually retained the material in any class was when I found it interesting. What’s more interesting than a game? I understand that some subjects can almost only be taught through straight lecture, but anytime it can be avoided, it should. Kids need to be involved, engaged and fascinated in order to truly learn. As Dr. Strange says, “No more burp-back education!”
As I explored his blog some more, I found one very interesting post. Capturing Reality caught my attention first because it was about taking pictures, which I LOVE! While trying to set up for a photo, Spencer’s daughter asks him, “Why do you have to capture it? Can’t this moment run free?” (Side note, kids always asks the best questions!) Spencer goes on to talk about a man who refuses to use cameras at all. That blew my mind! How can you not use a camera? Spencer writes their conversation about how cameras can affect the situation and memory. Paul the Preindustrial Poet says that he would rather live in the moment than “capture” it on a piece of technology. In the end, Paul makes a statement that it just isn’t for him. Spencer then asks himself and his audience an important question. He says, “It has me thinking that maybe we're doing a disservice to students when we teach tech criticism as good versus bad rather than asking, "What is best?" And perhaps we're doing a disservice to students when we teach, "What is best?" rather than "What is best for me in this current context?'” What an amazing thought. If instead of teaching them to ask what is good, bad or even best; ask what will work best in this situation for me and will get the job done. How great would it be to teach the kids to think for themselves and figure out what tech tools they need to use for different circumstances.
They Don’t Need It!
In Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?, Scott McLeod uses a sarcastic approach to discuss the different sides to teaching technology to students. For the first few moments of reading this post, I almost missed the sarcasm. Personally, I didn’t like his style of writing. I appreciated the sarcasm, but the broken, un-capitalized and limited punctuation style drove me kind of crazy. However, this isn’t of importance, the content is what truly matters.
A few of the arguments he presents, I can agree with. For instance, there is a ton of junk out there! Much of the time, I wonder if we should trust these kids with so much freedom. The entire world is open to them. But, then again, the entire world is open to them! Imagine what sort of amazing things students will be able to do! Technology is all around us and is closing in; there is no possible way to ignore it. The challenge is, not to teach kids about technology (I can guarantee most children can do more on a computer than most adults). It isn’t a question of how to operate it; it’s a question of how to use it! We need to focus on teaching our children and students how to use all the technology and massive amounts of information it comes with safely and effectively.
I thoroughly enjoyed his post, and absolutely love his sarcasm! What really amazes me, is how there are still some out there who think this way. Why should we include so much technology into teaching? What good will it do? Let me answer that, it will do a TON of good; just wait and see!
This has nothing to do with the blog post assignment, but it happened this week and applies to EDM310 so I don’t know what to do with it, other than write about it here. While babysitting this week, the kids and I were watching Disney Channel, naturally. During one of the shows, a statement was made that really caught my attention. On the show ‘Jessie’, a young student asks her teacher, “Why do we need to know where Germany is? That’s the internet’s job.” The teacher on the show was very “old school” without even a projector of any sort. The class was looking at a map that was pulled down over the chalkboard (gasp!). Immediately when the character made this statement, I thought of EDM310. This is exactly what we learn about each week. The importance of memorizing and knowing facts and tidbits of information is fleeting. Instead, students are beginning to learn to create, process and THINK! Like I said, this has nothing to do anything, it is simply a side note, but I found it extremely interesting and had to share!