Media Magazine

The iPad as Classroom Blackboard?

Posted on the 27 June 2012 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: As rumors would have it, the iPad may come out in a smaller version, but in my head I envision, instead, a giant iPad, standing in the front of every classroom, replacing the traditional blackboard

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Photo by Yana Paskova, courtesy of The New York Times


Behold the school blackboard—-or greenboard, as the case may be.  It is the most functional, reusable and iconic of classroom artifacts.

We all have different memories of a certain classroom we never forget, and perhaps moments of glory or fear when asked by the teacher to go and write something on the blackboard at the front of the class.

In my case, as homeroom president at Miami High, one of my duties was to erase the blackboard before the next class period. In the process, I would stay a few minutes later while my fellow students evacuated the classroom, and I had a chance to admire Miss Lovrich’s absolutely beautiful calligraphy.

Years later, as a professor at Syracuse University, and one who used the blackboard extensively while teaching 120 students at a time in a compact auditorium, my memories related to the blackboard have to do with a certain fellow professor—an older woman with very senior ranking—- who taught a class immediately after me.

One day I forgot to erase all of my writing on the blackboard, so the next day she said gently: My dear Mario, a teacher who does not erase his blackboard is like someone who does not flush his toilet!

I was 29 years old and I took it to heart: Is that what she thinks of my “qualities of good typography” check list?

Is the blackboard going the way of the Sony Walkman?

You may wonder why I am discussing blackboards today.

Some of you may think—-as I did—- that there are no longer blackboards as we knew them in classrooms worldwide today.

The good news is that there are still blackboards, and, I am told by young people around me who are in school or recently graduated, that there are all types of experimentations with electronic blackboards.

That’s my point today.

As I was reading (and watching the video) of this New York Times story about a new dance that choreographer Jonah Bokaer has created, and which is designed to be seen on your iPad, the image came to be of a giant iPad type blackboard in front of the classroom, one that does all that your iPad does.

Imagine that. How far can we be from something like that?

Let’s hear it for classroom nostalgia

Of course, it may never match the charm of the old blackboard, or its reliability: as long as you have chalk and an eraser, you are in business, no problems with connections, technical glitches, batteries dying or glass breaking.

One thing will probably not change:  do you remember that kid in every class who waited for the moment the teacher turned around to write on the blackboard, and then proceeded to create mayhem, pass notes, or throw paper airplanes?

Blackboards: so many erased memories.

Dancing and the iPad

If you like dancing, then don’t miss this new app, titled Fifth Wall, “Fifth Wall,”, available only for iPads, and the latest offering from the 2wice Arts Foundation. Here is an excerpt from the Times piece:

When viewed on an iPad — the box’s dimensions are in direct proportion to the device — the dances can be reframed to confound the viewer’s sense of orientation. In a trippy nod to Fred Astaire’s ceiling dance in “Royal Wedding,” Mr. Bokaer might appear to be standing on one wall or sliding down another.

A video about the making of the Fifth Wall:

Fifth Wall from 2wice Arts Foundation on Vimeo.

When viewed on an iPad — the box’s dimensions are in direct proportion to the device — the dances can be reframed to confound the viewer’s sense of orientation. In a trippy nod to Fred Astaire’s ceiling dance in “Royal Wedding,” Mr. Bokaer might appear to be standing on one wall or sliding down another.

“Fifth Wall,” the title of the work and a new application available only for iPads, is the latest offering from the 2wice Arts Foundation, which published a revered biennial magazine of the same name. Its last print issue appeared in 2009. Now 2wice has gone digital, but not in the usual way that magazine

Of interest today:

- UK: Guardian hands 20 reporters iPhones for added video coverage
http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/guardian-trials-iphone-video-reporting/s2/a549679/

- USA: Why the NYT-Flipboard deal is a smart move
http://gigaom.com/2012/06/25/why-the-nyt-flipboard-deal-is-a-smart-move/
 
- USA: Four things for journalists to consider as full New York Times content comes to Flipboard
http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/media-lab/mobile-media/178520/four-things-for-journalists-to-consider-as-full-new-york-times-content-comes-to-flipboard/

TheMarioBlog post # 1040

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