The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Of Chalkboards and Laptops and Visual Literacy

This week, AnnMarie (co-author, former student, fellow educator) and I will be presenting a webinar  via UNC at Chapel Hill's SCALE Read. Write. Act. National Conference. Our focus is on achieving greater Visual Literacy through rhetorical analysis. You’re all invited, of course! We're "on" at 2pm EDT, Friday.

 

Because of the webinar, perhaps, my visual literacy senses are tingling painfully. Every image or video I watch, I consider its potential merit for discussion in a classroom. The image below came through on an assignment in one of my grad classes. We were to assume the role of a school improvement committee and present our plans for a technology upgrade. 

tech png

 

When I first looked at this image, I thought:  

 

        Graphically, this is a “clean” image. The colors stand out very well, and it’s easy to read. 

 

All noteworthy points to consider for a PowerPoint presentation. However, something about it bothered me.

It reflects an outdated mental model—that of chalkboards, chalk, and erasers. The word “technology” on a chalkboard doesn’t work. It’s contradictory. And the use of the image reflects the author’s mental model as holding desperately onto some Norman Rockwell idealistic image of teaching. 

 

Yes, the font is neat. Too neat. I can’t remember the last time my handwriting was that neat on a chalkboard. Yes, the image is clean. Too clean. My chalkboards hardly had any green on them at all as the dust from multiple erasures and changes created a funky nimbus cloud--that of a chalkboard in use. What’s the reality? Why do we strive so hard to avoid it?

 

This image, presented to an intended audience of teachers, ineffectively illustrates the argument of the slideshow, which was to encourage teachers to use more technology in the classroom. It doesn't work.

 

How are we going to get teachers to use and authentically integrate technology, if we insist on holding these images up as the ideal?  It’s cute and quaint, I grant you. On a subconscious level, which is where these visuals hit home, it says, "Not really. jk. Hold to tradition." 

 

Until districts and administrators understand that teachers need specific (paid!) training in how to use the available technology, and until teachers admit that they are somewhat daunted by it and holding onto familiarity, we’ll get nowhere. And our students will continue to disconnect from what we do, noting the discrepancy between the “real” world—an ironically digital one—and our static educational world, leaving us behind in a cloud of chalk dust.

 

Mirror Site: Joyful Collapse

Mindy Keller-Kyriakides is the author of Transparent Teaching of Adolescents: Defining the Ideal Class for Students and Teachers.  Become part of the conversation!

Views: 51

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Christine Hinkley posted an event

OLC Collaborate - Alaska at University of Alaska - Anchorage

August 21, 2017 to August 22, 2017
Join us for this two-day professional development opportunity! OLC is coming to Anchorage to meet with online learning professionals, educators and administrators to engage in collaborative conversations around innovation and digital courseware. The event's program includes keynote speakers to offer insightful views of the changing university through short, focused presentations. Our first day features an eLearning Roadshow theme, with engaging presentations on digital learning, while day 2…See More
Tuesday
Terri Webb joined Ben Paulson's group
Thumbnail

Science Teachers

Connect with other science teachers from around the globe and share innovative ideas or thoughts on science education
Saturday
Eileen Lennon posted a blog post

So I accidentally blew up on Twitter last week.

National Teacher Day was May 9th, and I wanted to recognize that in a small way. I had a graphic that I created for a previous Twitter Chat, so I opened it back up, changed the top, and posted it with two small sentences and hash tagged it with #NationalTeachersDay. I tagged my usual tribe in the graphic so they would re-tweet it for me; they’re awesome like that. After that, I went about my day.…See More
May 17
Kimberly is now a member of The Educator's PLN
May 17
Dr. Karen Jackson liked Thomas Whitby's video
May 17
Profile IconDr. Karen Jackson, Anna Molnar, Nicole Schop and 1 more joined The Educator's PLN
May 15
Stephani Shaw updated their profile
May 15
Mark William posted a blog post

Upgrade Your Professional Career With Online University Degree Courses

Here’s what you can see if you give a closer look around you: People are getting chances to work in IT sectors without having any background education in technical domain. Working professionals are taking opportunities to complete full-time MBA courses without having to quit their jobs and investing much of their time and money. Single mothers are taking decisions to continue their studies they had to put an end to fulfill family responsibilities. Near-retirement adults are coming up with…See More
May 12

Awards And Nominations

© 2017   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service