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Are Chalkboards Still Used in Schools? Advantages of Chalkboards

While many chalkboards have been replaced by their newer, sleeker, whiteboard counterparts, there are still many advantages of chalkboard use in the classroom. Chalkboards and blackboards are traditional communication tools that offer a fun and functional way to facilitate lessons in schools and educational spaces. 

The use of chalkboards kicked off the collaborative learning movement, allowing communal communication and interactive education. For hundreds of years, chalkboards have been a staple in classrooms all over the world. However, with the growing popularity and undeniable sophistication of electronic whiteboards, it makes sense to wonder, are chalkboards still used in schools?

Are Chalkboards Still Used in Schools?

Despite whiteboards being a popular choice, chalkboards are still often used in classrooms. Many educators choose to still use chalkboards in schools, as they come with a variety of benefits and have a long history in education. Chalkboards in classrooms are accessible for many parts of the world, teach good penmanship, and many find the contrast of chalk on chalkboards to be more visually appealing than whiteboards.

The answer to “Are chalkboards still used in schools today?” is yes. Chalkboards and blackboards are still relatively common in schools of all types. However, although chalkboards are still used in schools (particularly in older schools), newly designed schools are moving towards digitised classrooms.

Many newer or modern classrooms being built will not have a chalkboard, but a new whiteboard or electronic board installed. However, the simplicity, effectiveness, economy and ease of use of a chalkboard will always be a staple for the foundations of classroom learning.   

Blackboard History

Blackboard history and the story of how chalkboards were first created dates back to the early 1800s. In Scotland, a large piece of black slate was hung on the wall, and people began using the material to communicate and write messages. Since then, the blackboard has revolutionised the teaching and learning sector, paving the way for today’s modern interactive whiteboard and smartboard communication used in classrooms.

By the mid 19th century, blackboards were common use in classrooms all over the globe. By the 1840s, manufacturing of commercial blackboards was becoming more common in the US, and blackboards were being shipped all over the country.

While black was the original colour for blackboards, many chalkboards now rely on a green porcelain surface, which reduces glare. As this green surface became more popular, the word chalkboard came into use instead of blackboard in the 1960s. Generally made of porcelain enamel with a steel base, chalkboards are lighter and more durable than slate, which made them easier to transport and install in classrooms.

The invention of the blackboard was a revolutionary one for classroom efficiency. Due to the simplicity, ease of use, economy and effectiveness for teachings, the simple blackboard will always have substantial advantages over more complex modern technologies.

When Did Whiteboards Replace Blackboards?

Whiteboards first appeared on the market in the 1960s, at the time requiring wet wipes to remove markers. Whiteboards were on the market for quite a few years before being adopted by the educational sector. So, when did whiteboards relace blackboards in schools?

Because of the potential allergies caused by chalk dust, the invention of dry markers for whiteboards meant that more classrooms began to introduce whiteboards.

By the 1970s, whiteboards were slowly being adopted in schools. The amount of dust created when using and cleaning chalkboards was a major catalyst for many switches from blackboards to whiteboards. However, many educators were reluctant to make the switch and were devoted to retaining their chalkboards in the classroom. 

Whiteboards provide a more modern, contemporary look within a classroom, and offer the benefits of being able to be used as a projector surface. The lack of dust and reliance on whiteboard markers meant that using a whiteboard made for a much cleaner classroom back then. However, the reason the answer to “Are chalkboards still used in schools?” is yes, is because there are still a variety of advantages of chalkboards that outweigh whiteboards in the classroom. 

The Advantages of Chalkboards 

For starters, chalkboard writing provides a striking contrast between the black or green background and the bright white or coloured chalk. This makes it very visually appealing for those reading, more approachable for students, and very helpful for those who are visual learners. 

Secondly, chalk can easily be erased and cleaned, where whiteboard writing can linger and may require a solvent to properly remove residue. Where erasing chalk used to create a lot of dust in the past, dust-free chalk is now widely available. 

Thirdly, chalkboards are tactile in nature. Writing with chalk feels more like a pen or pencil when writing. For this reason, many educators prefer writing with chalk versus whiteboard markers. Using chalk to make an emphasis on a word or symbol in a class also helps to engage students. 

Other advantages of chalkboards include: 

  • Chalkboards foster good penmanship
  • It is easier to draw lines of different weights and thicknesses with chalk than with whiteboard markers
  • Chalk requires no special care and is biodegradable
  • Chalk can easily be removed from clothing, materials frames and other classroom elements

Chalkboards Remain A Pillar of Classroom Learning

If you’re still wondering whether are chalkboards still used in schools or not, your answer is yes, they are. While interactive whiteboards and regular whiteboards continue to take over many new classrooms, it’s also easy to see why so many educators are reluctant to give up their chalkboards. Chalkboards today offer a variety of modern features, like a range of colours, sizes and dust-free chalk. It’s clear that chalkboards can offer contemporary and collaborative learning environments all over the globe; retaining a little bit of history in the process.

Whiteboards & Pinboards are the leading providers of all types of educational boards, including chalkboards and blackboards. While many chalkboards are still used in schools today, our blackboards and chalkboards are also perfect for restaurants, commercial spaces and offices. With a wide range of different sizes, styles and shapes, our extensive selection of chalkboards is ideal for a wide range of uses. Check out our full range of chalkboards today at Whiteboards & Pinboards.  

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