When I was a very young teacher, my Prep class children used rolled up old woollen socks (brought from home) to wipe their little chalkboards clean.
We later progressed to real chalkboard dusters for cleaning.
It was often messy work. Thirty-or-so busy little people writing and drawing on chalkboards…with words and pictures appearing at a merry pace. But, after the ‘work’ was all erased, the classroom would be in a fog of swirling chalk dust. It wasn’t very pleasant but that’s how we rolled – back in the day!
Then hooray! Dustless chalk was invented and there was less dust resulting in less need to constantly bang those dusters clean on the outside wall of the school building.
Then, the next wonder was the introduction of the whiteboard. Firstly, only for the teacher, who had a large one on which to write and draw and demonstrate.
Soon, along came small individual whiteboards for the children to use.
The only drawback for both teacher and pupils was the occasional misuse of the wrong marker.
Oops! When a more permanent marker (that looked suspiciously like a whiteboard marker) was used by mistake, it took a lot of scrubbing and wiping and half a bottle of metho to return it to its whiteboard-y whiteness. (Ultimately, someone invented whiteboard cleaner).
Also, there were times when a marker or an eraser was put down in the wrong place and couldn’t be found.
BUT, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention and progress in the right direction has once again happened.
The invention of a whiteboard marker that fits into the back of a whiteboard eraser that possesses a hidden magnet to conveniently store it on the whiteboard is the ultimate classroom (or maybe boardroom?) tool.
But I suspect even that will soon be found to be lacking in some aspect or other – and, of course, I guess there will soon be no need to use whiteboards at all, as everything will be achieved using an electronic screen…
What a long way we have come in just one lifetime.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.