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"Important" Academic Issues # 1--Chalk vs. Whiteboard

By RJ Snell on Thursday, May 13 2010

Wendell Berry famously raised the ire of many in a little essay he wrote , "Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer," in which he presented several rules he follows for new technology. I won't list them all, but as an example, his first rule is that the new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.

So, a few utterly biased rules which if followed would support my preference--CHALK.

1. The new technology should be needed, and not just a change because one can change.

2. Education ought to operate in piety for the past, and thus the presumption ought to be against change.

3. A classroom should not feel like a boardroom.

4. New tech ought not produce more waste than the previous tech.

5. Ease and efficiency are not trump cards in education; they might even be detriments.

6. Chalk dust on one's pants is funny but oddly provides ethos.

7. Memories of detentions spent clapping erasers together make me happy.