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It reflects an outdated mental model—that of chalkboards, chalk, and erasers.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: 55

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

Kathleen Wallace posted a blog post

Studying at the public school VS private school

Whether you are looking for a school for yourself or for your child, it’s always hard to decide on which institution is best suited for your needs. There are so many choices to consider even without thinking about public or private schools as different entities.However, if you take a look at any student testimonials and pay closer attention to what they have to say, the differences are quite huge indeed. What are some of the most notable differences between public and private schools and how…See More
19 minutes ago
Dr. Camille Dempsey updated their profile
16 hours ago
Barry Ilagan liked Barry Ilagan's blog post How Foreign Students Study in Universities in the US?
Wednesday
Alaine Gordon shared their blog post on Facebook
Nov 13
Alaine Gordon shared their blog post on Facebook
Nov 13
Alaine Gordon posted a blog post

Online learning VS traditional learning

Choosing the type of education that suits your interests and talents can be difficult in this day and age. The sheer number of options at our disposal is staggering, not to mention the ability to completely skip academic studies and opt for online learning instead.But what are the differences between learning something online and learning it in a college environment? Besides the obvious difference that comes from their names, what are some of the most essential and useful points to note when it…See More
Nov 13
Profile IconElizabeth Maberry, Gary Newman, Erik Andreas Vold and 4 more joined The Educator's PLN
Nov 12
Christine Hinkley posted an event

OLC Collaborate - Los Angeles at Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport

January 30, 2018 all day
OLC is returning to Los Angeles to meet with online learning professionals, educators and administrators to address the opportunities and challenges we all face in online higher education today at this one-day professional development opportunity!Learn more about expanding textbook affordability programs on your campus and requesting additional state funding opportunities from model institutions across California.OLC Collaborate - Los Angeles, hosted by our academic partner, California State…See More
Nov 10

Awards And Nominations

© 2017   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service