Blackboard blues

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The Independent Online

Today, prompted by the unveiling of new high-tech classrooms "where laptops will replace blackboards", we launch the first of an occasional series aimed at senior readers, in which we look back fondly at almost-vanished and half-forgotten features of the old days and pretend that it was all so much better then.

Today, prompted by the unveiling of new high-tech classrooms "where laptops will replace blackboards", we launch the first of an occasional series aimed at senior readers, in which we look back fondly at almost-vanished and half-forgotten features of the old days and pretend that it was all so much better then.

For who can forget the remarkable sound of the fingernail of a teacher as it made its inadvertent way down the blackboard? Listen, you had to be there. Then you would have shared the fun as we raised our desk, rather than lap, tops with amazing speed to avoid the piece of chalk hurtling in our direction in a direct action rebuke to either a momentary lapse of concentration after lunch or to some egregious parsing solecism. The nation owes a large debt to those shying pedagogues for the reflexes of our fighter pilots.

Ah, yes. Who can forget, too, the thrill of those new-fangled rotating boards as the teacher, facing forward, unknowing, pulled down some illicit message involving bottoms or the like? Great days. And you will notice that none of the foregoing has anything at all to with the board's efficacy as a teaching aid. We say: log on now!

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