Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chalkboards vs. whiteboards - which do you prefer?

Over at the Chronicle of Higher Ed, the popular columnist ProfHacker has written an editorial in which he discusses the pros and cons of chalkboards versus whiteboards (the kind you write on with dry erase markers).  I've always considered them interchangeable and that either one is far more preferable than PowerPoint slides for most lessons.  As the author of a book I'm now reading, Teachers and Machines:  The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920, says - chalkboards (and books) are examples of perfect inventions that almost defy improvement.  You really can't go wrong with either a chalkboard or whiteboard.

But ProfHacker lists the following reasons why he prefers the former to the latter:

  1. Chalk is cheaper than dry erase markers [I guess this only matters if you have to buy your own classroom supplies].
  2. Chalk lasts longer than dry erase markers [Maybe, but dry erase markers don't break].
  3. Dry erase markers don't always live up to their name (i.e. they don't erase) [probably ProfHacker's best point]; and
  4. You can throw chalk at the board and have it explode in order to emphasize a point [just try that with a dry erase marker!]

So what you do think, dear reader?  Do you still use chalk/whiteboards?  Are they even building law schools anymore equipped with chalkboards?  Let us know in the comments below.

And you can read more of ProfHacker wax poetic on the virtues of chalk right here.

(jbl).

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2010/10/chalkboards-vs-whiteboards-which-do-you-prefer.html

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