Historically, instructors could have any color of chalkboard they wanted as long as it was black. Today the chalkboard comes in all colors, shapes, sizes and degrees of portability. Some have special surfaces that require a particular type of felt-tip pen rather than chalk. Most times, however, this medium includes a large writing area, a writing substance (usually chalk), and an eraser.
The chalkboard is so common that not much attention is paid to maximizing the use of this
fantastic sub-strategy, but by following the guidelines below, the potential of even the trusty old "blackboard" can be greatly increased.
Advantages or Special Purposes
1. Availability. Most areas assigned for instruction are equipped with chalkboards. Also, if more board space is needed, portable boards of various types and styles are handy.
2. The chalkboard is inexpensive, especially when the usable life of the board is considered.
3. It is flexible in use in the sense that instructors may use it, learners may use it and changes can be easily made through erasure.
4. Space. Lots of writing space is usually provided.
5. The chalkboard can be used to present more formally prepared lessons, or for informal, spontaneous sessions.
6. Ideas can be dealt with at all levels from facts to concepts, from cognitive to affective learning.
7. Various colored chalk or pens can be used to develop the topic, show parts or build associations.
8. A point-by-point outline of a presentation can be made on the spot with diagrams, charts, and
other accentuation drawn at the appropriate moment.
9. The visual communication of the chalkboard directs attention of the class to the purposes of the lecture or discussion.
10. Ideas or topics suggested in discussion can be listed on the board, reorganized, deleted, added to, and put in final form.
11. Test or discussion questions can be put on the board and covered up before the class assembles, then revealed at the appropriate time. This can save on time and cost of duplication materials.
12. A number of learners can do practice or drill work on the board at one time, allowing the instructor to give feedback immediately.
Disadvantages or Limitations
1. The chalkboard carries with it a "temporariness." Material put on the board cannot be saved or made permanent.
2. Chalkboards are often fixed in such a way that they are not always at a comfortable height for all potential users.
3. Being fixed, chalkboards can put restrictions on the use of classroom space and classroom activities as learners need to be placed where they can see the boards.
4. Problems can arise for learners who have vision impairments.
5. With age, use of certain types of chalk, and/or improper cleaning practices, boards can become "cloudy" as they retain chalk dust.
6. Some instructors are psyched-out of using the board because they feel a lack of artistic ability.
7. Motion cannot be easily shown.
8. A teacher's handwriting or spelling deficiencies are most obvious when using the chalkboard.
9. Chalkboard work can be messy.
11. Writing on the board can be "down time" and may break the class' s train of thought and/or discussion.
1. Be prepared. See that the chalkboard and erasers are properly cleaned and maintained.
Ensure that chalk is available in sufficient quantity; learners get very tired of watching
instructors search constantly during class for a piece of chalk (or eraser).
2. Plan what you are going to write on the board:
a) keep writing to a minimum by using key words or conceptual diagrams; and
b) develop topics by using the board from left to right and top to bottom.
3. Keep writing
b) large, heavy and high enough to be visible by all;
c) brief; and
4. Practice writing and/or printing in a straight line.
5. Use yellow chalk on a green board, white on a black board, etc.
6. If your chalk squeaks, simply break the piece in half.
7. Learn to stand and/or move around so you do not block the view of learners as you use the
8. Avoid writing and "talking into" the board at the same time.
9. Put the chalk down when you are through writing. This reduces the chances for distraction
caused by playing with the chalk.
10. Use the eraser to remove errors or make changes. Using your hands only smears the chalk
and may deposit oil on the board, which can serve as a dust collector.
11. In erasing the board, use a down-sweep erasing motion. Erasing the board with a side-to-side
motion only enables the learners to observe (from a most unflattering angle) the instructor
doing something resembling the "Twist." It also causes chalk- dust particles to fly into the air
instead of into the collector tray.
12. When you are through with the material, erase it completely so that it will not serve as a
distraction while the next topic is being considered.
13. Intersperse writing on the board with questions or verbal emphasis. Keep the class aware of
what is being put on the board and why.
14. If important drawings or maps are needed on the board, a instructor is wise to save time by:
a) doing them before class, and
b) copying a projection on the board (from a filmstrip, slide, or opaque projector) rather
than "free-handing" it.
15. Chalkboard etiquette: if someone will be using the board after you, please don't leave it for
him/her to erase. It's nice to clean the eraser against the board as well
The overhead projector is probably one of the most versatile and useful visual aids that has been made available to the modern-day lecturer. The overhead projector has long since replaced the traditional chalkboard as one of the main teaching aids and is used in lecture theaters and classrooms all over the world.
Even though computer-based data projectors are increasing in popularity, they are indeed very expensive and this means that they are in no way a match for the overhead projector. Therefore, it is very important for lecturers and teachers to know how to use overhead projectors effectively, so as to exploit its potential to the maximum level.
The overhead projector definitely has a number of advantages that would outdo most other visual teaching aids. For instance, a lecturer can use it in just the same way that he or she would use a chalkboard, but the biggest advantage would be that with the overhead projector, lecturers all over the world now get to face the whole class and maintain eye contact all times with their students instead of having to turn around and write. As a teacher, you would know that this eye contact plays a very big role in both facilitative as well as expository teaching, and serves both as a means of receiving feedback from the class on how good or bad the session is and as an outward non-verbal communication medium for the teacher.
Another very important benefit that the overhead projector has over the chalkboard is that it is multi-purpose and can be used to present pre-prepared material, which enables lecturers to build notes, tables, diagrams, and so on., and these can be used anytime, repeatedly.
If designed well and planned well, these overhead transparencies will provide all the aides and cues that are needed during a lecture, so that you don't have to resort to the conventional note taking. These overhead transparencies are fairly compact when you compare them with some of the other types of visual aids like charts and can easily be stored in boxes, folders, files, or large envelopes.
As compared to most other projected visual aids, the overhead projector also has another big advantage, as it does not require a room to be darkened, so it allows students to take notes easily. It can also be used in any kind of room, except ones with extreme bright lights or in the direct sunlight.
The overhead projector is quiet, 'user-friendly' and clean and requires no technical knowledge or skill on the part of the person operating it, apart, of course, from the ability to change the lamps occasionally.
The drawbacks of the overhead projector include the basic fact that it requires a constant power supply and also requires a white flat surface on which its image can be projected. Another disadvantage is that if the surface is not suitable inclined at the correct angle, the image will suffer from a phenomenon called 'keystoning'.
Unlike marker boards and chalkboards, overhead projectors require a small amount of maintenance. They are more likely to crack or break, so you must be very careful and always keep a spare bulb close at hand. Another disadvantage is that some teachers find the glare that is emitted from the overhead projector quite bothersome, even though this can be overcome by attaching a shade to the device.
Besides these hardware 'glitches', the basic problems that are associated with the overhead projectors arise from the fact that most users do not really provide enough thought or consideration to the production of their display material. The writing is generally too untidy or too small and can't be read easily, and apart from this it could also extend beyond the area of transparency. Lecturers and teachers always forget that this illuminated projection area in the overhead projector is not the same exact size as the acetate sheets that produce the transparencies. However, most overhead projectors are still of the older 'square' variety.
Lastly, lecturers and teachers tend to overuse these projectors only because they are so convenient. They employ it in situations where, on other occasions, other visual aids would have been more effective.