Why are there still so many chalkboards in Japan?

The most extreme example I’ve come across is a university I gave a workshop in that had two projectors and huge screens, but still had chalkboards rather than IWBs, or indeed just plain whiteboards. It’s not like the Japanese are generally anti-technology…

While working at another university with chalkboards recently it occured to me that the manic tapping noise I was producing and the sheer physical exertion were very conducive to a Japanese view of teaching and learning being mainly hard work. Sure there must be other more mundane explanations though…

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1 Comment

  1. January 23, 2012 at 12:42 am

    I teach in Okinawa and all the schools still have blackboards. I get excited at the few times I come accross white boards. Last year, several elementary schools all got large Panasonic TVs with touchscreens etc. Most aren’t used. There are several reasons:

    1. Teachers don’t know how to use them, despite training
    2. It takes longer to prepare powerpoints than it does to just write things, and Japanese teachers are hella-busy
    3. Most of the rooms have nice wide windows, without curtains, so the glare makes them hard to see.
    4. Despite being large, when at the front of a class of half-blind elementary or jr high kids who don’t or won’t wear glasses most can’t read whats on the screen anyway.

    Now if only they’d finally get around to giving everyone large tablet ‘desks’ like in Ender’s Game…


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