Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Blackboards or whiteboards for schools?

Many teachers prefer to stick to their tradition and use a blackboard for leading their classes but is this a mind-set that is shared around the UK? This post will look at the advantages of both whiteboards and blackboards.

Blackboards have been used for teaching in classrooms since the early 1900s when a geography teacher in Scotland took his students’ slates and attached them to the classroom wall in order to display the lesson to the class. Since then, a blackboard has been a common association with the classroom as a brilliant way to display information and then simply rub it out at the end of the lesson.

Blackboards can come in a variety of shapes and sizes from small wall blackboards to those on a roll so the entire days’ lessons can be written out and those with pre-drawn lines on that are great for teaching children to read and write. Most classrooms opted for a large wall blackboard which meant that writing didn’t need to be squeezed in. However, many people find writing with chalks very difficult especially as the chalks are used and get smaller.

The main advantage of a whiteboard for teaching over a blackboard is that there is far less mess involved. Chalk gets everywhere and even if you use liquid chalks instead there is still the risk of it getting on your clothes which can be tricky to remove. Blackboard dusters can also create a lot of mess in themselves and the dust can cause some people to cough especially those who are asthmatic. Whiteboard markers are very clean and most can be easily washed out of clothes.

Many people also argue that using a black whiteboard pen on a whiteboard is easier to read than white chalk on a blackboard. You can buy a range of coloured pens for whiteboards that can come in very handy for highlighting important points and drawing diagrams too. Chalkboards are slightly more limited in the things that you can display on them. Magnetic whiteboards are particularly useful in lessons for sticking up pictures and graphs.

Overall, the whiteboard is a much more useful and easy to use tool for teaching in schools, universities and colleges. As time progresses, we predict that fewer and fewer blackboards will be seen in classrooms, especially with the development of interactive whiteboards.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Is there still a place for the blackboard?

In schools around the world, blackboards have been slowly replaced for some time now with whiteboards. Whiteboards are considered to be less messy, more robust and easier for students to read. Many universities and modern schools have invested in interactive whiteboards. These enable the teacher to display images, lessons and games on the board from a computer that can be controlled from the whiteboard.

So is there still a place in the world for the blackboard? While blackboards may not be as popular nowadays in schools, they have become increasingly popular in the home. With the rise of brands such as Shabby Chic and country-style and vintage becoming popular style trends, blackboards have actually made a come-back! It might be a small wall hanging blackboard in the kitchen, or even an entire chalkboard wall – either way the style is coming back. Magnetic blackboards are one of the most popular products at present, finding a good balance between chalkboard and notice board. You can buy or make fun magnetic to go with them that can brighten up your home and make leaving messages or reminders a little bit fun!

Kids will love having a blackboard at home. You can buy novelty blackboards in a variety of different shapes such as cats, dogs, bears or trains. These are great for helping them to express their creativity without wasting reams and reams of paper.

Even if blackboards are being used less in schools, pubs are still using the blackboard. See our article on pub blackboards for the range of options that are available. Studies have shown that people are more likely to pay attention to something on a blackboard or notice board because subconsciously we recognise that the information on it is likely to change on a regular basis. So to answer the question, yes there is still a place for the blackboard.

While schools and colleges might be moving on to more modern solutions to aid their teachers, homes and pubs across Britain are embracing the blackboard in new and more fun ways than ever before.