Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Pencil Integration Blog - A Historical Perspective

If only ever child had access
Innovative educators who've struggled with integrating technology into a school system stuck in the past will get some comic relief and inspiration from John T. Spencer's blog, "Adventures in Pencil Integration." Written as an allegory for contemporary educational technology issues, Adventures in Pencil Integration tells the fictional story of Tom Johnson, who is fighting to integrate technology into his classroom. He fights small battles regarding whether students should be able to bring their own pencils from home, whether pen pal letters will "ruin relationships," whether pencils are the cause of "pencil bullying" and why short-hand text will not ruin the language. The larger, external conflict initially feels like it's about getting pencils into the hands of students. But it's more than that. It's fighting against a new, emerging factory system of education while still encouraging the use of these new tools in a more human way.

The idea here is that technology does not exist in a cultural or social vacuum. There are layers of political and social events, personality conflicts and institutional procedures that make meaningful "pencil integration" a difficult endeavor.

Here are some posts you might enjoy:
Comparing today's technology with that of yesterday, helps put these issues into perspective and remember that technology is only technology to those who were born before it.


  1. Thanks for the links, some are really funny. I think it is not a problem of technologies, it is about the way they are used.
    We will always have issues about using some tools at classroom, the point is how we manage those conflicts.

  2. LOL!!! Loved this. "Are pencils the cause of pencil bullying?"