The best teaching aid is a piece of chalk

1458 Words Apr 23rd, 2014 6 Pages
“The best teaching aid is a piece of chalk”
When I first went to school, the dominant teaching aid was blackboard and chalk. That is almost half a century ago. Back then, the statement “The best teaching aid is a piece of chalk” is likely to cause bafflement to teachers. “What else?” would be their common response.
Today, however, teaching aids abound. From a simple letter set painstakingly cut out by a devoted teacher, through electronic projection equipment, DVD sound systems, televisions and computers, to the latest interactive whiteboard, they introduce a wealth of variety and differing impact to today’s classroom.
Any discussion of this statement will therefore be remiss if I do not introduce and examine some available alternatives
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3. Supplementing/substituting the blackboard
Primarily visual aids, these include the overhead projector (OHP), slide projector (almost going the way of the Dodo), and the latest computer projection equipment. A quick check on the internet shows that these can cost anywhere between USD100 and USD2000, not including the screen. Exorbitant cost aside, the OHP and computer projection equipment can, technically, replace the blackboard. OHP sheets can be prepared in advance or blank, to be written on during the lesson. This is the closest to the blackboard. The advantage is that the teacher is facing the class when doing so and is thus better placed to gauge the class’ attention level and behavior. The disadvantages are that it requires a power cord, generates a fair amount of heat, and often requires some training to use effectively and efficiently. It can also breakdown.
The computer projection system requires that all materials be prepared in advance prior the lesson. These can then be presented a bit at a time in accordance to the pace of the lesson. The clearest advantage is that the projected material is type-written and can be set at a font size most suitable for the classroom in use. It can also be used to do slide presentation using Power Point or similar software. A further advantage is that material on the internet can be easily downloaded and adapted for classroom use. However, unpredicted changes in
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