Today has been crazy. I have spent the past four hours trying to sit down to complete this assignment and am just getting my fingers to the keyboard to type. Some of the disruptions included but are not limited to:
1. A call from my Momma
2. A blow-out diaper (for those that are unfamiliar with this because you don't have kids...ask me when you are married with children)
3. A phone call from a groupie classmate (I appreciate you anyway Lindsay!)
4. A toddler who refuses to stay in bed
5. Visitors checking on Nicholas (at ER last night b/c he has slight pneumonia)
6. I spilled my coffee...man! I knew I should have just taken a nap!
7. Had to restart my computer 3 times because it kept freezing up
So now that my wonderful husband is home, the kiddos are entertained, and my phone(s) are in the other room it's on to my blog.
Adventures in Pencil Integration
Here is a comic found on John Spencer's blog: Adventures in Pencil Integration
My experience using a Mac has been limited to the computer lab for this class. I remember my first time on a Mac. It was for our "My Sentence" project. I wanted to cry. I got on the computer and it was like looking at a foreign object. I finally found an icon I recognized--Mozilla. I clicked the icon and must have clicked somewhere else, because I lost it! I finally found where I had accidentally minimized the browser window only to find myself on the verge of tears again when I actually wanted to minimize it. Who knew the pretty traffic light at the top left of the page was actually where the minimize button was located! I did survive that day and have had a couple of experiences since. If I had the time and the access, I would love to learn how to use a Mac. They seem to have a lot of nice features that the "PaperMate's" (PCs)do not.
Playing? Or learning?
After reading Mr. Spencer's blog post, Why were your kids playing games I am starting to get a feel for the tone in which this blog is written. Mr. Spencer seems to be employing satire and sarcasm to get his points across throughout his posts. Most of his posts use dialogue between fictional characters to convey to the reader the point that Mr. Spencer is trying to make. The integration of technology is a slow process with many hurdles to jump over. In this particular post the principal accuses the main teacher of "playing games" when in reality the teacher was doing a hands on lesson that required the students to do while they learned--a non-traditional approach to learning. The principal struggles with integrating this new approach into the traditional system because he is afraid of what the authorities would think and say. Mr. Spencer, in an indirect way, is talking about our hesitation as educators of integrating technology because of the fear the students are using it and having "too much fun". Thus, making it a game.
All throughout his blog, Mr. Spencer writes about the use of the pencil as the new technology that is being integrated, but he is really not meaning pencils at all; he's writing about the integration of technology as we know it today. Using this approach is less harsh and very interesting to read. I enjoyed looking at other posts he has written. Some of his posts were hard to understand and grasp the true meaning of, but others were funny and I understood the meaning right away.
Just read another interesting post, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?. I must say Dr. McLeod did a great job getting his meaning across through the use of sarcasm. When I was reading his post he seemed to express my same views and concerns (especially from the standpoint of a parent)of the precautions we should take when using technology. However, in his final sentences you realize that he is actually arguing against the more cautious view and out for an all technology or nothing approach. I do not agree with Dr. McLeod. I would say that technology is a very powerful tool not to be given to children without limits. It needs to be explored with caution and used with limits. I liken it to a sixteen year old driving a car. You wouldn't just give the keys over to a sixteen year old. First, they get their permit which allows them to practice driving with adult supervision. (But for the first 15 years, who was driving? Not them!) Then, after the practice comes the responsibility...with limits. Do we just give them the keys and say, "Okay, go explore!" A good parent has limits. Our children when using technology need to be aware of the dangers that are out there before they are ready to free explore with out limits. They need to be taught which sites are appropriate, which ways of expressing ourselves are appropriate, etc. Before they are old enough to be responsible for these things, access should be monitored. It's a no-brainer to me. It's also a no-brainer to me that technology is meant to enhance our lives, not become our lives. It's all about balance. That's all I have to say about that.
Who is Dr. McLeod? He is a leader in technology instruction. He is the co-director and creator of the first graduate program that prepares teachers to be technologically prepared to foster a 21st century teaching environment. To learn more about who Dr. McLeod is check out his bio.