Is this the most one-sided fight in history? Does the fact that you can even download a blackboard app on the iPad make this a K.O blow before we’ve even discussed the issue at length? On the surface, yes. But if you’ll allow us to dig a little deeper you might be surprised at the pros and cons of this showdown between 20th Century teaching methods and 21st Century innovation. Below we highlight a few, and find out why the humble board at the front of the classroom hasn’t had its day just yet…
Pro – Engage With Students
In the past, blackboards were used as a way to reiterate points made over the course of a class. While great for note taking, and perfect for leading a classroom in reiterating points and hammering home the core of the lesson, it could be a somewhat unengaging way to lead a lesson in the classroom as more often than not students would become bored and this would lead to a lack of motivation. This was doubly bad if your teacher also happened to be monotonous and unengaging.
Con–Hard To Write
Lefties have long suffered with blackboards, with plenty of smudging happening over the course of a teaching day. Not only that but with the wrong bit of chalk or the wrong amount of pressure it would lead to an awful screeching sound that is putting my teeth on edge just thinking about it. Add to this the issues with mess, chalk clouds from the eraser, and inability to utilise other forms of multimedia such as overhead projectors with it and it was a very one-dimensional piece of kit.
With thousands of apps at the touch of a finger, students and teachers have access to a wealth of interactive information and learning resources. One such example is the Khan Academy, a non-profit online organisation that offer “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”, and features lectures and resources on a range of subject on the curriculum.
This is on top of other portals of information, such as Wikipedia and JSTOR which allow your students to learn and conduct research in much more detail than has ever traditionally been available.
Con – Breakage
Kids aren’t known to be the most light-fingered and delicate of users of technology, and with tablets taking more of a precedent in the classroom this is going to leave tablets more vulnerable to breakage due to the lightweight designs. While a robust case goes someway to protecting the tablet and schools offering guidelines to students on how to look after their device, accidents still happen.
This article exemplifies the changing face of the classroom over the decades, and with rapid innovations in technology and teaching methods it can be hard to keep abreast of what is on offer and how it can benefit your school. Egan Reid are long established as providing some of the most essential classroom and IT products.