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It reflects an outdated mental model—that of chalkboards, chalk, and erasers.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: 41

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

Alexander Fleming updated their profile
1 hour ago
Dorothy Hastings posted a blog post

6 Craft Ideas for Preschoolers This Memorial Day

Preschoolers enjoy patriotic activities just like everyone else. It’s an exciting experience that gives them the opportunity to learn the history of our country.Happy Memorial DayHere are 6 craft ideas for Memorial Day for preschoolers that they will find easy and love to do:American Flag PaintingUse small craft pom-poms to dab red, white and blue paint onto paper. Using clothespins to hold the poms, dab each color paint in the shape of a flag.Make American MonumentsPlace pictures of the…See More
5 hours ago
Brady Taylor replied to Olaf Elch's discussion Who is responsible for bad results?
"What an interesting argument.  So many questions going through my head.  I would think that any school where imposed changes are met with enough opposition to warrant talk of dismissal has bigger problems than policy change.  The…"
16 hours ago
Teresa Conley updated their profile
yesterday
Teresa Conley posted a status
yesterday
Mark William posted a blog post

MOOC: A Real Deal For The Advanced Learners

We are living in a generation where the need of education among the students are higher than ever. Today's students are thinking of competing in this 'global society'. And to do so they have a diverse range of educational need. To impart that much of education educators need to think beyond the traditional educational system and introduce an alternative platform that will quench student's desire.…See More
Friday
David Chiles posted a status
"Digital bill of rights to be crowdsourced from British citizens http://cnet.co/1TEHzd1"
May 22
francismake posted a blog post

If you are to boss FIFA 16's FUT mode

You will alpha off with the Bronze, Argent or Gold Agenda backings for anniversary player. This is meant to baptize a player's all-embracing skills. A amateur with baronial anywhere amid 0-64 is Bronze, a being ranked 65-74 is Silver, and players with baronial 75-99 are Gold. The Gold ones represent the best fifa 16 coins players in FUT 16, and you accept to apperceive anniversary player's attributes.In time, you aggregate added…See More
May 20

Awards And Nominations

© 2016   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service