K-12 Technologies – Next Generation Blackboards for Teaching Considered

Have you ever considered that the blackboards used in today’s classrooms are not much different than the chalk that the cave dwellers used to use when painting pictures of animals on the inside of their caves? Shouldn’t our educational system have evolved along with the human species? Now before you start laughing, I’m trying to be serious here, these old blackboards are not the epitome of the new digital age and technological world that we live in. It’s like a throwback to the past.
What I’m trying to say is; they aren’t good enough. Why not have the teacher write on the blackboard with her finger on a giant touchpad screen? – As she writes with her finger, why can’t artificial intelligence and algorithms complete what she’s writing as she writes it in her handwriting style, just like it does in Microsoft word completes the Latest Innovation date as you type it, and the software finishes it up for you. Just like our smart phones do with text messaging. It would be really easy as the teacher is writing on the board there would be something in very small letters that only she could see at that distance and she would just press on the small notation and it would finish the sentence.
Then the digital blackboard could record everything that she put onto it, and save it for future lessons, and over time she would refine her lesson, and it could be made available to other teachers as well. The teachers with the best results could share their information with others; with homeschooling parents, or these lessons could be downloaded onto the Internet into a giant digital library. May I ask why no one is thinking here, and why this hasn’t this been done already? It’s not as if we don’t have the technology, it already all exists.
There was an interesting piece recently in Campus Technology titled “Blackboard Enlists User Help to Develop Next-Gen Collaborate” by Dian Schaffhauser published on April 29, 2011. The article spoke of using crowdsourcing to help design and develop future technologies in teaching, and this makes sense considering the US Government has funded a DARPA like group for education. The Blackboard Collaborate Product Advisory Council is now working on NextGen Technologies and doing a little prototype testing currently.
It seems to me that when companies and educators get together in a real live teaching environment it becomes immediately obvious what works, what doesn’t, and what changes should be made to optimize learning in the classroom. The more efficient Agriculture Technology Companies it is, the faster the learning. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you are an educator, or a technologically up-to-date person who has some ideas on this topic I’d love to start a dialogue with you.

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