If you look in any modern classroom you find a projector, a dry erase board and a screen. But when I’m prepping my classes for the week I pull out my Blackboard. No, I’m not talking about a piece of slate with chalk like we all grew up with or we remember seeing in one room schoolhouses. Instead it’s a liquid crystal display made by Kent Displays. They sent me their latest Blackboard to check out and try for prepping my classes and how it could be useful in our every day lives.
Blackboard is an affordable, reuseable writing surface that has a twist to it. When you get your Blackboard, it comes with three different reversible sheets with different drawing options. You can make lists, draw on a grid, a blank sheet, or even take notes. But nothing on your Blackboard is set in stone. Like it’s name sake, everything is temporary – just you wont have to fight with chalk dust and smudges as you go through using the system.
Like many other professors, I spend a lot of time at home preparing each week for class. Coming up with ideas for that week’s class, making sure that everything is ready to go before I step foot into my class each week. While in the past I would write notes that would get crumpled and lost, now I do it all digitally. With the Blackboard I’m able to map out each class and the notes I want to share with my students. I can draw out the plans for the next class and sketch out what we need to do.
The Blackboard comes with a stylist that is easy to use with the system and can be stored easily. and will make drawing or writing notes easily. However you can still use another type as long as it has a softer tip. I did notice that pressure made a little difference in the lines as you drew but not majorly. You are able to get detail into your drawings if you want, and the best is you can save it as you want, or start over in an instance.
Using the Blackboard is easy, and eco-friendly since you wont be using paper for each time you start over with a drawing. I did notice for me that I still left small marks in the areas I wasn’t drawing because I have a tendency to draw like a lefty, even though I’m right handed. This is something that would happen with pencil markings or marker as well, but my bracelet did the majority of the marks while I was drawing. While not ideal, once I noticed this happening I re-positioned my hand to prevent more issues.
Drawing is easy and mess free using the Blackboard, but since it’s a liquid crystal display – nothing is permanent. Once you press the button on the base, everything will clear off the screen. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose everything. Blackboard actually has an app you can download to make sure you can save your work. It allows you to take a snap of your notes, your drawing or whatever you created and save it digitally. Just arrange the dots to fit in the corners and it will save it in your phone. You can edit it, add to it digitally and check on your notes later.
For me, this has made it so I don’t need stacks of notebooks and crumpled papers. It means I can re-work my lessons a few more times before I get to class and have all of the notes digitally when I walk into the room. I can make changes on the fly and I can even send notes using the Blackboard app to students on their work. While the Blackboard has a name that nods to the past of the classrooms, it actually combines newer technology and eco-friendly options that can help shape the future of note taking for business or at home.