Posts Tagged ‘blackboard’

Ghanian teacher Richard Appiah Akoto drawing Microsoft Word on a blackboard because he has no computer to help his students pass exams.

Over here in the Land of Plenty it’s hard to imagine some of the stratagems teachers in less favored regions must employ to help their students learn.

And although this particular story is about Africa, I don’t mean Africa only. There are many parts of the United States where meager school funding pushes dedicated teachers to extraordinary feats of creativity.

At CNN, Gianluca Mezzofiore reports on a teacher in Ghana who needs to teach kids computer usage — without a computer. How does he do it? He draws a screen image of Microsoft Word on a blackboard.

“Richard Appiah Akoto is a Ghanaian teacher who faces a pretty discouraging dilemma. His students need to pass a national exam that includes questions on information and  communication technology (ICT) — but the school hasn’t had a computer since 2011.

“So Akoto had an ingeniously simple idea: he drew computer features and software on his blackboard, using multicolored chalk.

” ‘I wanted them to know or see how the window will appear if they were to be behind a computer,’ Akoto told CNN. …

“Images of Akoto — who on social media uses the nickname ‘Owura Kwadwo Hottish’ — drawing a diagram of Microsoft Word for his pupils at Betenase M/A Junior High School in the town of Sekyedomase went viral after he posted them on Facebook. …

“Akoto’s 100-plus students were happy about the drawing because it made the explanation about launching Word simple for them, he said. And this is not the first time he has illustrated IT technology on the board.

” ‘I have been doing this every time the lesson I’m teaching demands it,’ he said. ‘I’ve drawn monitors, system units, keyboards, mouse, formatting toolbar, drawing toolbar, save as dialog box and so on.’

Quartz, which first reported on the teacher’s story, says the written exam is a requisite for 14- and 15-year-olds in Ghana to progress to high school.” More here.

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Photo: Oklahoma City Public Schools
Drawings and script on 1917 school chalkboards were recently uncovered in Oklahoma.

In June 2015, student drawings and script from 1917 were uncovered on Oklahoma blackboards.

Elahe Izadi wrote at the Washington Post, “Teachers and students scribbled the lessons — multiplication tables, pilgrim history, how to be clean —  nearly 100 years ago. And they haven’t been touched since. …

“Contractors removing old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City made a startling discovery: Underneath them rested another set of chalkboards, untouched since 1917.

“ ‘The penmanship blows me away, because you don’t see a lot of that anymore,’ Emerson High School Principal Sherry Kishore told the Oklahoman. ‘Some of the handwriting in some of these rooms is beautiful.’ …

“A spokeswoman said the district is working with the city to ‘preserve the “chalk” work of the teachers that has been captured in time.’

“A wheel that apparently was used to teach multiplication tables appears on one board. ‘I have never seen that technique in my life,’ Kishore told the Oklahoman.

“The boards carry not just teachers’ work, but also that of students, and every room has a lesson on pilgrims, according to the district.” More here.

The principal’s comment on the penmanship was interesting to me because just a few weeks ago, my husband unearthed his mother’s student chapbooks from around the same period. All she did was copy Chaucer. Not only was there no analysis, there was nothing about whether she even liked what she read. Not required.

I’d like to think that today’s loss of elegant penmanship signifies that teachers are spending time on more important learning.

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