Thursday, July 30, 2009

What subjects should we teach our teachers-to-be!

A few of you sensed I was a bit miffed in my last blog. A student from my college of education who would be doing her student teaching this fall had told me she saw little need to use technology in kindergarten. Oh my. I did a survey and looked at a number of software programs for the pre-school child as well as primary children that would entertain the child as they learned numbers, letters, colors, and things like what is same and what is different. We've done these things in primary classes for years with these activities leading to beginning reading and beginning arithmetic. Some children come to school all ready to start learning--others have to be coaxed along at this age in the learning process.

A child's imagination is unlimited at this age. Most children do not have anything in the way of much experience to block some thinking and dreaming. Let's face it, most of these children are five to seven years old. Hopefully they will have been read to many times before arriving at school. They might have a puppet or a doll to act out scenarios. And hopefully they will have watched Sesame Street on the television--- but even I, an advocate of technology in learning, hopes that the television would have been monitored.

I want our student teachers to be highly intelligent, extremely interested in children's learning, with a pleasing personality and have a well rounded background of classes in education and other majors with both practical and theoretical backgrounds. And I want my students to have a number of experiences during their educational courses to observe and participate in real life k-12 classes in the public schools. I think my university and more specifically my education college does a good job. The College of Education is accredited which means it has been surveyed, review and observed by other professionals and basically have said, "Good work."

So what happen with the young woman who did not want to use technology in her classroom? At the academic level, if one perceives that there is a problem, the task is to first see what is happening in the program. How did this person slip by with this type of thinking? Are there others who emulate her? Is this a one time happening?

The second thing I like to do when looking at an educational problem is to see what others are presently doing with their programs and classes. In olden days I would have had to go to the library and look at university catalogs and find the college of education sections-- but thanks to the Internet and the World Wide Web pages, it is quite easy to use a search engine and bring those pages on my computer here in my home office. What a saving in time.

So I picked two Ivy League colleges that had education programs. I also thought I picked two schools that were about the same size of my university. I picked wrong--both were smaller. I choose not to reveal their names, but be assured they are considered fine universities on the east coast.....Ivy League. One reason for my choice is that in the past I have visited both these institutions. One of them for a time was the leader in the use of computers in the college classes even going so far as providing computers to the local bars and eating houses for their students to use.

But both schools have a limited education program. One school has listed only four faculty in their education department. Apparently elementary and secondary programs are inter twined. But the sad thing for me was that there was only one mention of technology in one program, a course entitled, "From Print to Film: The Reading, Writing and Seeing of Children's Books." Sounds interesting. Unfortunately it isn't to be offered in 2009 or 2010.

But perhaps I am wrong in another way. Maybe they are using technology in the other classes such as Brain Development and Reading. Maybe but I didn't seen it mentioned in the course description. Is it possible that teacher education programs are not teaching technology? I did see several courses on Integration of Minorities in Education. A high five for that one. What I sensed with these two schools that their students would major in another subject such as Psychology or Anthropology or Chemistry and then take some classes in general education specific to grade level. One college required a fifteen week student teaching starting in the fall of their senior year but no mention of observing or doing mini teaching during the program. For that matter neither program mentioned being accredited. Perhaps being an Ivy League school means you do not need to be accredited. I need to study this more.....

Visiting the web pages of these two schools have been interesting and educational. My college of education in my mind looks pretty good as to courses, requirements and a variety of programs to fit different needs. I know that the graduates of my school are normally requested by superintendents for initial placement as our reputation as been successful over the years. Now if I could only sense that our students are getting a good intro to technology in the schools. What do you think? Should I twitter them? Or is it "tweeter". Damn, I've got to go back to school.... R U w/ me?

And if you have a face book or do use twitter, you might want to thank a teacher for helping you in this advance social interaction.... Oh my.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A worry about technology...

We live in a technological world. In education the technology started right after World War II with the introduction of overhead projectors, 16 mm movie projectors, opaque projectors and the most common one of all the 35 mm slide projector from the push/pull edition to the famously satisfying Kodak [ring] slide projector. It was a start.... competing with the ubiquitous blackboard. In the fifties and sixties, I think we can say that not much was made of this emerging technology.....the reason being that in teacher education at the college level, lectures and trips to local schools were the predominate means of instruction. There is an old saying, "we teach as we were taught." And so, talking and books were the most effective means for teaching. "Listen to a lecture, read a chapter in the textbook and take a test to confirm you knew the material. So it is not surprising that teaching in the K-12 classes changed very slowly.

Indeed, it is still changing slowly. I spent a half a day with a lovely woman who will begin student teaching this fall (2009) in a kindergarten in a good school district.... She told me she has always wanted to teach young children and she is very excited about the coming experience. I asked her about her courses and she said that she had wonderful professors and wonderful experiences in the schools and she felt confident that she would do well. I suspect she will

But a disappointment arose when she said that the worst two courses for her were in Instructional Technology. She didn't like either one of them. She also didn't see why she had to take them.....she wasn't going to use any technology in her kindergarten. Oh my. I wanted to say much to her but we didn't really have the opportunity. And changing value systems in a person takes time. I am unhappy with my university and the college of education. They have taught this pre-teacher cognition about technology, did an excellent job of teaching her psycho-motor skills but they missed entirely on the affective domain. [see a previous blog about the three types of objective in learning and teaching]. This about to be teacher could not understand how an overhead might be used in a kindergarten to elicit discussion about letters and words and colors and time and all sorts of things that young children would be interested in.

And she mentioned that she really didn't feel that young children should be exposed to computers. I think I did very well not coming unglued....I surprised myself. I am sorry to say that my young kindergarten teacher to be knew nothing about "Arthur's Kindergarten" or "Curious George learns Phonics." In the business of teaching young children you want to cover all bets and that means a variety of ways to get a child to understand.

We have another phrase in education that I think is appropriate--"Time on Task." The more time you spend on a subject, objective, a method, or a learning the more a child will learn. It works with adults as well. The U.S. Army knows that to teach a young soldier how to defuse a bomb will take time. Time on task at hand. You can't hurry it.

However, if you teach something the same way over and over it becomes boring. So a variety of ways becomes the optimum way to teach including time on task. If I were a young parent with a young child I would have Curious George on a computer for my youngster at home. I would watch Curious George on my PBS channel with my child and make the comparison between the computer program and the TV program. And I would buy the books about Curious George.

The use of three different media (television, computer program and books) is an example of redundancy of the message. The child will get the message in a variety of ways which reinforces what they are learning. There is good (read positive) research of children as young as three years old who have their own computers and what they learn from using the device.

There is also a spectacular video with parents who are both editors and work at home. Their young child still in diapers has her own computer on a coffee table and knows how to delete pages and to seek different programs that she like to do. It is a powerful message.

But, colleagues, we blew it with this young teacher to be. Perhaps she will be in a kindergarten that has computers already set up for the class. Perhaps she will be with a Supervising Teachers that has a positive outlook on the use of technology in the classroom. Perhaps......
I hope so.

My worry is that like this young teacher to be, there are others who are not gaining an understanding of how to use technology in the classroom. Pity.

If your teacher used a number of ways of explaining things to you I hope you will thank that teacher in multiple ways as well. That person deserves your thanks.

Monday, July 20, 2009

You don't have to go Ivy league...

I get concerned, even upset when I hear of someone saying they have to go to an Ivy League school to get a proper education. I also get miffed when I hear a young student moan that their application to Harvard was rejected. I am also puzzled when someone says that they did not graduate from a good school.......

First off, universities and colleges are like shoes....there are different styles and sizes for different folk. We're really at a basic question in teaching--what is the interaction between teaching and learning? How much cognition does a teacher have "to pour into a students mind" and "how much does a student have to ingest to learn?" For me an interesting question is how is a Harvard professor different from a UCLA professor or a Texas Tech professor. And who has the responsibility for the learning--the professor or the student. The word "professor" comes from the latin to "profess" or to declare publicly. Doesn't say anything about learning...

There are many good even exceptional universities and colleges all around the country.....some are private, some state supported and some are religious institutions. All have teachers (read: professors, instructors) wanting to make a difference in the world. All a potential student has to do is find a place where they will be content in their learning.

I sorta just fell into a program--I didn't survey the country looking for the best education school nor did I read in journals who had courses of study that might interest me. I just fell off the turnip truck. Remember this thought...

I had gone to the "U" several days early to find out where my classes would be, how long it would take to walk from the parking lot and to buy my textbooks that I would need. Lynn and I had talked it over and we had decided that I would take only three classes this first quarter, two probable tough or hard courses and a fun course. There lies an incorrect assumption that courses that are hard are not fun. I was quick to learn this fact. One of the hard courses that I elected to start out with was philosophy of education. I had had a philosophy course but this would be graduate level.....the course description said it was about ideas in education. Already I was thinking of that line in the musical, My Fair Lady, do you remember it? "Words, words, words. I'm so sick of words." The other projected difficult course was statistics. I'm not enamored about numbers and although I already had a basic statistics course I wasn't looking forward to this one. The course I was looking for was one titled, "Media Communications," taught by a new professor. It sounded exciting.

But in the process of registering, getting books, finding the coffee shop, I met a professor of Curriculum that I had had for my master's degree--a Dr. Foster.....a truly nice guy. He asked what I was doing and when I said I was starting on my doctoral program, he asked who was I working for. "No, no, I'm starting my degree-I'm not working for anyone this year." "Come with me" and I followed Dr. Foster into an office. Within a half hour I had an office, a phone, a job (twenty hours a week), a receptionist and better parking (!). I suddenly was a Teaching Assistant and had four or five student teachers to supervise. I would have done this for free but the university would pay me a salary too. What a deal.

I can report that ALL the courses were hard and ALL the courses were exciting, challenging, awe inspiring, fascinating, and mesmerizing. Years later I can still remember going home each evening wanting to read more on each subject. Each course had ideas I had never thought about before. I learned to appreciate statistics although I never was very good at it--but I could now understand what it could do. The philosophy course devoured me in ideas. I read and read and read. Plato became my friend. Who would have thought.

My third class was on Media Communications. It was an evening class and afterwards there were nights when I just couldn't go to sleep. To look at technology and break it down into theory and then put it back together was at times beyond my emotions. The professor would present an idea and then ask the class how could we modify the idea as to make it presentable in education. My oh my. It was the golden days on my learning--exciting and wonderful. To this day, Dr. T as I called him is the most influential person in my life.

You ask what teachers do? They awaken the soul and the imagination. Then they let you fly into the unknown.

Dr. T has passed away along with several other of my professors. Isn't it interesting how I used the adjective, "my" in that sentence. Those men and women who taught me much were mine. I am forever grateful with what they shared with me....especially Dr. T. If you had a professor in your course of study who influenced you, be sure to thank them. Most professors never know if they made a difference.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another Type of Teacher...

About this time some years ago, I was finishing up my master's degree in education. I had taken four final exams on four generalized subjects on four different days. Perhaps someday I'll tell you about those exams. I remember vividly walking back on the campus with my wife and saying as we walked, "If I pass these exams and get my masters I will never set foot on this campus again." I was tired and it had been grueling although at times very exhilarating. It took me five years of summer school to work on my masters--four summers of classes and one summer to start on my thesis. Beginning the thesis was the low part--there were no professors I could turn to for emotional assistance. I just had to get it organized and started.

But this is what a lot of teachers do--go back to school in the summers working to improve their teaching and classroom activities. Let's be honest--it also helps the salary raises to have a master's degree.

But I had completed the thesis and finally had taken my exams. I would be free and clear of the university. I could feel the weight coming off my shoulders even before I knew what the results were on the tests. Walking into the Dean's office, one of the secretaries recognized me and said did I want to see the test results? After fumbling around with a pile of blue books she tossed me my tests all incased in a rubber band. The first one on "Audiovisual" had a high pass--the best you can do. The next one on School Administration was a pass along with one on Guidance and Counseling which was also a pass. The last one, Curriculum and Instruction, which I had been worried about was a high pass. For heaven's sake. I had done well and I had my master's degree. But written on the Curriculum and Instruction test booklets was a note--"Please come see me." and a name. It was the head of the Curriculum and Instruction department. Didn't know him. Damn, now I had to come back on campus. Maybe I had some of my facts wrong and he wanted to be sure I was straight on the issue--who knows. But still, I was done--I had passed so Lynn and I did what we usual did on special occasions, went out for a good dinner someplace. Blew the budget. That was okay, I would get a small pay raise.

A few weeks later I went back to the campus to Miller Hall and asked to see Dr. J. He was very gracious and had me sit down. Then he said he was impressed with my tests and had I ever considered getting my doctoral degree. We talked for a few minutes and then I left. Damn! Double Damn! Why did he have to go and do that. Damn, Damn Damn.

I went home and talked to Lynn. Actually we had many talks in the days to follow. Soul searching talks. My first inclination was to just say no! No more classes, no more research projects--I was tired. But we talked about what if....! We'd have to move to Seattle. We'd have to find another place to live. Lynn would have to get a different job. I would have to quit my teaching position where I was. I could ask for a year's leave of absence but I knew in my heart that if I did that I was hedging my bets. Quitting would make me serious. Finally, we decided I had to do it. It would be tough financially and I might flunk out after the first quarter but if I didn't try it would always be hanging over my head--could I have done it? So the die was cast. I taught one more year and sent in my letter of resignation.

In the next blog, four of my favorite years--the most fun in education that I ever had.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Parents are the boss....

I hadn't wanted to write this blog.... I'm not sure where it is going to go. But a number of articles and television reports seem to mandate that I should write something. Let's add up the totals here. First there was an article about a young teen sicking her dog (which she had apparently just beat) on two adult women in separate incidences. The women say they were trying to stop the beating of the dog. The young girl is in custody at the moment however her Mom says the women provoked the fight. A hard story to read in the papers.

Then there was the incident of another young girl in another state that was zapped with one of those electronic guns by a sherif deputy. She needed emergency work and stitches.

A good friend of mine has repeated a story of his daughter falling and hitting her head in a PE class and feeling bad when she got home. Her father (my friend) called to say he wanted to speak to the teacher and principal the very next day. After some argument with the principal, he had his meeting--he didn't want his daughter jumping hurdles in PE class. He wanted the schools to teach his daughter reading, writing and arithmetic. And leave this other stuff alone. I understand his anger and unhappiness. And that incident appears to have happened some years ago and he still is angered by the memories.

A few of the diehard readers of this blog will recall the father who demanded that his daughter be an "A" student and it was my fault if she didn't reach that level. He was bigger then me and very aggressive in his demands. I was intimidated, no question about it. Near the end of the school term we became friends--but it was touch and go for awhile.

My other friend (I'll call him John for this blog)--the one whose daughter fell in class is down on public schools--and wants "poor" teachers fired. It is my opinion that he thinks that schools waste tax payer's money and John refuses to vote more funds for teachers. "All poor teachers ought to be fired, but the teachers' union just protects them." There are a lot of people that think like him.

Let's get my biases out in the open first. I believe that the parents are the ultimate boss. Hey, they pays the money (taxes) so they get to make the rules. As a teacher it is their child that I am working with. I want to do my best. If one of my parents told me no PE for their child I would do my best to fulfill that request. The state curriculum says that I'm supposed to do some PE but if the parent is adamant about this request, I want to work with the parents.

One year I had the nicest boy in my class--bright as all get out. Everyone liked him. But early on in the school year the parents came to me with this request--no parties, birthday or holiday, nothing. Their religion prohibited celebrations. Okay, I understood (or I thought I did). I asked if Alfred (we called him Al) could go to the library while the class had a birthday celebration for another student. Yes, that would be fine with them. One more thing--could he have a cupcake while at the school library reading? Yes, that was also okay as it would be considered a snack. So that is what we did every time we had a afternoon birthday or holiday party, Al would head down to the library with a piece of cake and spend the last hour reading. Al was happy with the arrangements and the parents were happy with me. If kids missed school because of religious days, I would try to just catch them up with the class. I did put my foot down when a father came in to pick up his son to go get a haircut. But that is another blog at another time.

So....parents, you are the bosses. But because you are the boss you have some responsibilities. You have to let me know what it is you want for your child. Come to PTA meetings or call me to make an appointment after school. I can't talk to you in the middle of the class. You work afternoons?--then what is a time for you and I to meet before school in the morning or on weekends. And if you have a problem with me, let me know. Don't go directly to the Superintendent. He/she hasn't the foggiest idea of what I am doing in my class.

Here is another responsibility for you--if you don't like something in the curriculum or want something in the curriculum, then go to a school board meeting and request a change. I am required to teach the holocaust, native American culture, patriotism, slavery, and a host of other subjects. I may miss one now and then but I try to get them all taken care of. And it is different for different grades--the high school teacher has their demands as well. Every year there seems to be a high school English teacher who in teaching literature of the United States picks a book that upsets some parent. Harry Potter teaches the black arts--I don't want my child to learn about that. I'm not intending to make fun of any parent's request but be aware that there are many who have different requests. It's a tough row to hoe.

If you haven't seen your kid's teacher, don't criticize until you've met face to face. I suspect in most cases you can solve the problem. That is what teachers want to do. Solve the problem and teach your child that way you want.

Are there poor teachers? Given the fact that we have 2.6 million teachers in the public elementary, middle and high schools in the United States (Department of Education statistics)
I will grant my friend, John, the point that there are probably some poor teachers in the system. But I will also defend the majority of teachers as hard working and wanting to teach students to become successful.

A special comment for John as well. If a teacher is not up to the task there is no way that the unions can protect that teacher. The teacher unions or associations just do not have the power to make a district keep a teacher. I know. I was president of a state teachers association.

One more aside here: there are times when a student will say something to a parent and say something different to the teacher. Kids aren't dumb. Some learn that they can play a game with the adults. That is why the adults have to get together and discuss what the end result is to be. Some kids want to push the envelop. It is a part of learning and growing up. But it behooves us adults to be a bit smarter then our kids.

If you've had a problem with a teacher, then go see if you can resolve the problem(s). And I'll make a deal with you--if I have a problem with your child, I'll call you to get some advice. You know your kid better then me. If you haven't had a problem with the education you child is getting--then go thank a teacher.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Blackboard......with an attitude.

In the last thirty years or so technology and innovations have infiltrated our society in some many ways. In our homes we have atomic controlled clocks to flat screen televisions to highly efficient gas furnaces--so many different items that we now take for granted. Kids now have cell phones which parents consider as a safety device even in the lower grades. And an iPod with ear buds are standard equipment for many children. One twelve year old recently wrote on his blog that his dad's Walkman was an ancient and very large audio device "...that used TAPE." And he didn't know that you could use the tape on both sides. Indeed the innovations of our time are todays artifacts of anthropology. My oh my.

BUT..... (isn't there always a "but" in these stories? Perhaps I should use "However" instead) go into many public and private schools today and you will see the blackboard still in front of the room. If it is a more well to do school district you may see a white board (dry erase white board).

However, our most progressive school districts are now opting for Interactive White Boards. As I said yesterday, teachers have a need to explain things to an entire class--writing on a blackboard has been the standard since the early nineteen hundreds. In the last fifteen or twenty years schools have replaced the blackboard with a plastic material called the white board. Less dust and easier for students to view from all parts of the room the white board was a big improvement. The one problem was that there were times when the teacher wanted to save the material for the next day or later on in the week. What to do....

Hence, the "Interactive White Board." Let's see if I can describe it adequately. It is a white board that can be connected to a computer. Therefore it can present already developed material (e.g. powerpoint presentations) or the teacher can write on the board and save it to his/her computer to again present the material another day. Writing on the board is very easy by picking up a marker and just writing. As the maker leaves its storage area, it tells the white board what color it is. A teacher can actually touch the correct storage area and write on the board with her finger. Cool.

These interactive white boards have so many possibilities that can assist the teacher in doing a better job but actually it can do a better job for the student. For example, the high school civic teacher can present the US constitution on the board. Kids can't see it in the back of the room? No problem, all the teacher has to do is hit a control button to make it bigger. Want to see a different part of the constitution? Just move it around with your finger. Another example. Let's go to the grade school this time. The fourth grade teacher puts an outline map of the United States on the board and asks a student to come up and trace the Mississippi river. Now erase the Mississippi and show the Columbia river. No problem. The original map stays visible while the teacher erases the rivers. The interactive white boards are essentially computer controlled. They can be used for front projection.

Let me digress here for a moment to explain a long ago frustration. When I use to show a movie in my grade school class I would have to get the projector set up (16mm), pull the shades, turn the lights off and start the film. IF I wanted my kids to take notes they would have to do it in the dark. Not good. So many times I would stop the film, turn lights on and tell them what sort of notes they ought to be taking. Good training on note taking but lights go on and off was not a good environment for watching a movie.

So today the white board can be used for projection of a video. If a student misses something they can instantly go back and view it one more time. OR stop the video and circle that item that you want the students to see. That is so cool--I almost want to go back to teaching just to play with this new device. If you want to see more of this type of innovation go to and see what can be done.

In honor of the Interactive White Board I am changing the formate of this blog from my beloved old blackboard (white letters on a black background) to a new white board style with black letters on a white background. It is easier to read, easier on the eyes. And we are in this blog catching up with the technology in the classroom.

If you remember your teachers writing on a blackboard to illustrate an idea for you, be sure to thank them for all the work they did. And if your school has white boards, be sure to thank the school board for taking that extra step. In any event thank a teacher today. They will appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Technology in the classroom....the Blackboard

A subject dear to my heart--using technology in the classroom to help children and adults learn. The old saying, "...back in my day...." really is an euphemism for "don't spend any more money." But some schools do add technology the best they can--richer school districts can do more.

There are good history books on education in the United States--much of it will make you wonder how we ever got a school system at all. And in 1968 Paul Saettler wrote the definitive "A history of instructional technology." Probably to that time, the most complete book on that subject.

I hope you will forgive me for taking a very simplistic view of history of instructional technology for this blog. Dr. Saettler did the complete work and you can refer to his book if you wish.

Let's start with the Sophist....somewhere around the fifth century BC. As far as anthropologist have recorded, the Sophist who taught philosophy tended to use stones and twigs in the sand to illustrate ideas. Logic became their guideline with their teaching. But the Sophist appear to be our first teachers who used something besides words to teach. With me so far?

Johannes Gutenberg around 1440 invented the printing press and sparked the learning of reading and writing for the masses. But it was an expensive process to print books and books were not available in schools, only to the upper class.

By and large wherever groups of people wish to live, schools become part of society--it is the method by which we indoctrinate our young into the ways of becoming an adult in our society. In the early days of this country two types of schools seem to have emerged. In Boston Horace Mann started the Boston schools somewhat to prepare students to enter Harvard which was nearby. But Benjamin Franklin saw the need for knowledgeable workers and started the American Academy....a more general type of schooling.

Finally! Both schools used pieces of slate so that the students could write their letters and numbers. Each student held their own blackboard so to speak. Aha! an early technology. The slate was cheap and easily replaced if broken. Soon as school buildings were being built in larger numbers in our growing population, slate was used on the front wall so that the teacher did not have to go around one by one and demonstrate each letter or number. Paper was expensive and the slate was cheap.

Writing (penmanship) and spelling became a valued education. Businesses needed workers who could write well and clearly. Although paper was slowly introduced along with turkey qills and ink wells, the blackboard remained a tool for the teacher. [I've already written how a Boston parent became concerned when his child was given a metal nib to write with--what if there were no metal nibs available--how would they learn to carve a turkey gill?]

Blackboards became the standard in schools. Children would come to the front of the room to demonstrate prowess of arithmetic solutions or to spell a word. A major joy for many children were to be picked to "clean the erasers" and go outside to make a cloud of dust!

In spite of the overhead projector becoming a force in the classroom during the early seventies, the blackboard remained the prime teaching tool for teachers along with books until the nineties. The only advancement to the blackboard was the advent of color chalk. In some school districts if the teacher wanted to use color chalk she had to buy it herself.

Blackboards demanded their own maintenance. Erasers had to be cleaned and the blackboard itself needed a wipe down with a damp cloth every week or so. Although the kids loved to do this it was the teachers who from time to time did the maintenance. And chalk dust was always a problem. When I first started teaching in 1955 I was required to wear a shirt and tie and a jacket. My jackets were always covered with chalk dust. Always..... I got around this requirement by buying a lab coat from the university store and wearing it. It was white and chalk dust didn't show.

In the early nineties, a new type of board was introduced into schools. Called the white board or more formally...the dry erase white board. It used special pens that could be erased without dust and were easier to see (hence read) in the back of the room. Early white boards had some glare but soon even this problem was overcome. With a blackboard the teacher could see when chalk was running low but with these new white boards, the pens would dry up it seemed always in the middle of a lesson. Teachers would descend upon the store for backups pens. But on the whole it was a big improvement. The biggest problem was to use a permanent marker on the board that would not erase. There were chemicals that the janitor could use but it was a pain. Teachers soon learned to keep the permanent markers separated by the dry erase markers.

However, visit most schools today and you will find that they have blackboards in each of the classes. The evolution of the blackboard to the whiteboard is still in transition.

In the next blog let's look at the evolution of the dry erase white board to...... It's there and would you know it, Bellevue schools have them in most of their classrooms. It is cool.

Did your teacher ever write your name on the blackboard? You probably ought to thank that teacher for the honor.