Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Post #10

Adventures in Pencil Integration

Pencil Cartoon
John Spencer forces observers to pause and compare the differences in a cost effective Papermate and a hip Ticonderoga pencil. The difference? A pencil, is a pencil, is a pencil. Each cartoon creation is one dimensional with no depth or inspiration to the imagination. You can attempt different techniques, but the outcome will be similar. Mr. Spencer is "drawing" attention to the limitations of inspiration and excitement when working with pencil and paper. Technology allows things to literally come to life before your eyes. It think I know which one I would rather learn from. Don't you?

Lions, and Tigers, and Pencils....Oh My!

Cowardly Lion
"Wait a minute fellas! I was just thinking.
I really don't want to see the wizard this much.
I'd better wait for you outside."
John Spencer has a great way of telling some humorous stories to make a good point. After analyzing the cartoon, I read "Why were your students playing games?" I could picture a principal who looked like Archie Bunker (yes, I know most young people are wondering and googling Archie Bunker right now)  This principal avidly defends the opposes this teacher's approach to hands on learning and fun. My favorite part is the principal's fear that rote memorization scores will suffer if rote memorization skills are not focused on. I mean, memorizing information for a test which consists of basic information that will be forgotten within a week is far more important than hands on, engagement, interaction, and exciting educational experiences.

This same philosophy was explored during "Remember Pencil Quests?" Teachers back in the day, God love them, they did the best they could with what they had. I actually remember a Pencil Quest or two. Even though we are no longer comparing cartoons, we are still comparing the same pencil, I mean principle. We have technology and wonderful tools  to open the minds of children, helping them shape their lives into unimaginable possibilities. Like the Cowardly Lion, sometimes we know the answer is just behind the curtain, but we are still too afraid to reach out and grab what we need most. We just need to find the courage to accept the person we can be, the teacher/educator we can be, and make the changes that will guide our students down their yellow brick road.

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Dr. Scott McLeod is a pioneer spreading the possibilities and resources of technology in education. He also has a creative way of comparing the pros and cons of children/students and their exposure to technology. He admits that there are many negative things that students could gain access to, but with responsibility and supervision, students are now able to have the world open up at their fingertips. Learn, experience, imagine, and become excited in ways and about places and things that they never knew existed. It's time for a change. As a future educator, I'm ready to hold myself up to the challenge. 


  1. Christie!
    I am not assigned to you this time but had to come back to see what you had to say! Your point of view is so creative. It's refreshing!
    First off, I am so proud of you for getting the metaphor for Technology in Spencer's post. He so gracefully points out what's lacking in traditional methods of education without stepping on anyone's toes. He does indict them just a little bit for being a part of the system that holds our student's back, but for the most part, his cleverness smoothes that over.

    Also, good job on your own creative imagery and metaphors! You always find some clever way to tie it all together in a nice little bundle of perspective and sarcasm. And also southern charm...The "Teachers back in the day, God love them," comment reminded me of my mom. She totally does this. Such a southern grace to call someone out and bless them at the same time. Love it.
    "Like the Cowardly Lion, sometimes we know the answer is just behind the curtain, but we are still too afraid to reach out and grab what we need most. We just need to find the courage to accept the person we can be, the teacher/educator we can be, and make the changes that will guide our students down their yellow brick road." This is literary genius.

    Please consider keeping up with blogging after your EDM310 journey. You are a bright and clever lady, and the mindless hours of paperwork and red-tape you will more than likely encounter in your educational career will call for a creative escape. As a scholarly-minded person, I often long for a space to release my thoughts and bounce around some ideas. Blogging would be great for you and I already know of one reader you could depend on ;)
    Good luck!

    1. Say it aint so! I was telling my husband about you just the other day and part of what I had said was how lucky I felt to have you assigned to review my work. You always give me just the right combination of advice and encouragement. Some of your encouragement has lifted me up out of a "summer burn-out slump" that not only helped me with EDM, but in other areas as well.

      Again, I'm lucky that you appreciate my sarcasm and humor. It can be a blessing and a curse. I have always loved writing and feel that I do get a sense of release after completing a few assignments. I can see how this would also equate to the red-tape and mountain of paperwork someday. Again, a little "nugget of wisdom from my fairy God-Mother/Princess."

      I'm impressed that you are in the early spring of your life, yet you speak with the wisdom of someone who has endured one of their final winters. You are wise beyond your years, young grasshopper! Your insightful perceptions, kind words of encouragement, passion for life and technology, and "get fired-up" personality when you get excited about something will make you a treasure to many people during your life; your family, friends, future Prince Charming, Employers, fellow co-workers, student's parents, and of course, your future students and even your future children!

      I have enjoyed getting to know you, learning from you, and becoming inspired by you. Thank you for making my EDM 310 experience even more special than I ever could have imagined it would be. I will continue blogging (I think I'm a bit addicted). I had thought of documenting the remainder of my educational experience, and immediately implementing a blog in my first classroom. I would love to continue to learn; I think I will check back in with Dr. Strange's class blog to see what he has current students learning about as well as follow some of my favorite blogs/teachers we were assigned this semester. I would also love to keep in touch to see how you are doing and maybe continue to get some of those wonderful suggestions from you. Let's facebook, twitter, text, and blog.

      One important question I have now: I would LOVE to have several sites/blogs to have as a resource for ideas for implementing technology in lesson plans. I don't know what I will be teaching when I graduate (any grade I'm lucky enough to get a job teaching, I imagine), but I want to know how to use technology in any grade level, any subject, and how to write them into my lesson plans. I have already made one blogging lesson plan for the American Revolution for my EPY class, we won't get started, and I was able to use what I learned from class, but couldn't find much else when doing research. I figured if anyone knew, it would have to be you! Any suggestions? Thanks~!!

  2. Replies
    1. Dr. Strange, you have no idea! Carly has been a constant source of positive guidance, filled with suggestions that have motivated and encouraged me as a student. I have had contact with each and every T.A. at some point during the semester. I don't know how you have done it, but you have put together an impressive group of intelligent young minds with unique personalities who are always willing to assist student needs without ever seeming inconvenienced by questions. I have appreciated each and every one of them, but especially Carly! Thank you for providing your students with such a valuable resource in the lab and Teaching Assistants. I, for one, will be forever grateful!

  3. Thank you, Dr. Strange! Appreciative students are the best thing to look forward to when doing my assignments, and some do such an amazing job that I keep coming back to see their creativity thrive!

    I am glad to know that I have lifted you out of a slump! It’s not good to be in a “funk”.
    Also, I definitely appreciate your sarcasm and sense of humor because this class is meant to be taken seriously, but not too seriously. Some people have focused too much on just surviving and not being creative with it.
    I am glad you appreciate writing and I feel the same way!
    Thank you for calling me wise, sometimes I don’t feel so wise! I try to be perceptive and kind, and you definitely have way more personality than I do, missie! I hope when I have been working on my career for a few years, that I am still as passionate about it as you are! Still working hard, not burnt out; still full of new ideas!
    Please do continue blogging and I will comment on every single one of your posts to make you feel like you have an adoring audience. I will tell everyone to read it too!
    Never hesitate to contact me because I love to help. The more people who want to ask your advice, the more you know you’re doing something right ;) When no one wants to learn from you or hear your opinion, you aren’t trying. That’s something I have found out.
    Next time you are in the lab, I will show you plenty of links. You would have to see them to see if they are right for you. Some are more impressive than others, but I have a good dossier of resources :)
    It has been great working with you! Never lose the southern charm, it’s entertaining! Maybe you could use this as an angle for your new blog? Oh well, I’m sure you’re probably five steps ahead of me! You probably already have your own theme picked out and everything.
    By the way, I started my own blog on creativity, inspiration, and also DIY. I have decided to become a Refashionista, using my sewing skills and mad fashion sense to re-create my own style! I will send you the link when I get some more stuff up. It’s kinda bare right now, but I thought you would be proud.

    1. I am so excited for you Carly! I absolutely ADORE the idea of a "Re"Fashionista" and cannot wait to see your new blog! That is right up my alley! I also love to sew, though I don't have the time to do it as often as I used to. I took several sewing classes, even heirloom sewing with lace, and made many of my children's clothes, birthday gifts, etc. I would be happy to share some of my one-of-a-kind ideas with you. Maybe I could do a guest post on your blog with a cute & easy sewing idea for gifts I make!

      Thanks again for the blog encouragement. I may need one last good nudge to get through this i Book assignment! Our group is going to have to get on the stick! I will also be getting with you on those websites. Hope you have a great week!

  4. Hi Christina, I really enjoyed reading your blog post this week. You were pretty close with the meaning behind the cartoon, it was a spoof on the "I'm a Mac" commercials from a few years ago. I agree with your views on John Spencer's first post; memorizing information for tests that will just be forgotten the next week does our students no good compared with hands-on activities that could be remembered much longer. I also liked your image of the lion from the Wizard of Oz, that is the theme we are using for our iBook project so you should check it out when we finish! Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Justin! I had forgotten all about the "I'm a Mac" commercials. It's interesting how Dr. Strange has found such unique ways to help us look at things from a different perspective. Good luck on your iBook! I'm sure it will be fabulous and I will definitely check it out when you're done!

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