It's been a good while since my last post. I took a bit of a break during the school summer holidays from planning, teaching, marking, researching, blogging, tweeting and all the other stuff that I do, and just relaxed a bit, travelled, got caught up in the whole Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Saga and spent time with my lovely wife. But I'm back, and have been trying to catch up on #edtech. After my last post, which discussed the renaming of the blog, I thought I would be a good idea to go back, back to the beginning and talk about the history of educational technology. To see where we are and where we want to go, it's a good idea to see where we have come from. As always, I have drawn on a lot of other peoples' research, please check out all the links within the document, and at the bottom of the post, and of course, let me know what you think in the comments...

ed tech


'Okay, I want to know the Straight Dope on why dry-erase marker boards are "taking over" and the traditional slate style chalkboards seem to be going to the wayside. One used to be able to buy a chalkboard at office supply stores, but now, they are all stocking only dry-erase marker boards. snarl...


I love old-fashioned chalkboards. They are fun, attractive, last virtually forever, and are easier to clean. Chalk is extremely inexpensive as well. Ahhh, I remember the good ole days as a kid in elementary school, always eager to volunteer to wash the chalkboards after school, pounding the immense clouds of dust out of the erasers, wheeeeee!


I do not care for marker boards. I find them unsightly, and they seem difficult to clean. The appropriate dry-erase ink often leaves permanent stains on them. aaaack... I have nothing nice to say about marker boards.


I don't really have an immediate need or use for chalkboard or markerboard, but I am very curious about the whole thing, nonetheless.


also: Are traditional chalkboards still being used in contemporary schools? I haven't set foot in a school classroom in over a decade.'

By MagicSilverKey on 14th August 2001


It was in about the late 1950s or early 1960s that the whiteboard was invented, but it took roughly another 30 years for them to become popular. I'm sure between that time, statements like the one above by MagicSilverKey were not uncommon. Harking back for the good old days. Now in 2016, in the educational establishments that I am used to, statements like that seem quite ridiculous. I'm not sure if you would hear any comments, questions or statements regarding the feasibility or the advantages/disadvantages of the whiteboard over the blackboard (or chalk board). It's no longer a question. That discussion has been had, for the most part anyway (The Washington Post, Stonehouse Designs, Science Blogs).



typing handwriting


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"A Learning Secret: Don't Take Notes with a Laptop"              ??????


"Why Using Pen And Paper, Not Laptops, Boosts Memory"   ?????????????


"Why You Learn More Effectively by Writing Than by Typing"   ???????


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You don't really have to go far to find articles, websites and other pieces of information that state that handwriting is better for learning. When compared to typing, where the brain interprets the different letters with the same finger motion, handwriting which is distinctly different for each letter, holds more sway on remembering and analysing. I get it. It makes sense.

What does that mean for secondary education? Does it mean that the more writing students do, the more they learn? Or that if they go a lesson without writing, then the learning is not optimal? What does it mean for computer science classes and ICT classes, or using computers (in whatever form) for your history class or mathematics lesson? Do we then have to somehow squeeze writing in there? I'm not quite sure it's as simple as that. 

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