choice education design

Why mathematicians are hoarding chalk – and why it matters

This post  on Gizmodo caught my eye because I noticed the other day that one of our classrooms still has a blackboard / chalkboard that appears to be getting a decent amount of use.  At first I just put it down to the conservative nature of some of our older lecturers.

As I read this article though, the arguments made for this older tech (in this case a particular brand of Japanese chalk that has just gone bust) actually made some sense to me.

Projectors do sometimes fail in the middle of a demonstration, solving an equation on a powerpoint slide doesn’t have the same flow and whiteboard markers can run out without you being aware of it before you start.

Even though I feel in my bones that there must be a tech enhanced option, these people – our users/clients – often have deep experience that has led them to do what they do now. We need to leave our assumptions behind and make sure we ask the right questions about current practices before we offer new ones.

(Maybe deep down I knew this when I designed my logo)