Mention Blackboards and the first thing that comes to mind are your school days. The large black edifice in front of you, like that block on 2001 a Space Odyssey, on it will be written terrible things like the weeks Homework, Shakespeare’s Sonnets and, worst of all, Maths. One of the worst things though was that person that thought it was funny to drag their finger nails down the blackboard making a horrendous shrieking sound that put everyone’s teeth on edge. Sometimes it was the teacher. Thankfully, that horror is now no more with the invention of School Dry Wipe Magnetic Whiteboards. You can scratch them to the cows come home and you won’t get a peep. Bliss. They can be purchased at https://wedgewhiteboards.co.uk/ if you fancy one.
How did we end up with blackboards anyway? There were at first bit so slate that the slate companies could not use for roof tiles. Simply put, if you use chalk you can write on them. This was the standard way of educating youngsters from Victorian times. Each pupil with their own slate, writing down the answers from the questions on the big mother board. It’s a bit like the big board has spawned little tiny ones like the Mother Alien in Aliens. I really don’t like blackboards.
I’ve recently found out that you don’t need to have them black. All those years and there were other options. Made I just went to a cheap school or something. We did have lined ones and some with squares on for that dreaded Maths I spoke of. All it needs is a layer of black paint on a smooth board and the chalk will do the rest. You can get some plastic ones and others with a layer of porcelain. They can last up to 30 years. My kids may well have to put up with them.
It’s a good job that the white magnetic boards have been invented because studies, actual academic studies mind, have proved without a shadow of a doubt that the sound of finger nails down a blackboard is the most irritant noise in the world. The theory was advanced in the Acoustical Society of America. Amazingly it didn’t even matter if the high pitch sound was taken out it was still the most annoying sound recorded. If academics say so, then it must be true. There are some pluses. Chalk is biodegradable the plastic round a board marker is not. Chalk doesn’t smell like white board maker and it does produce a very clear image. Perhaps I should have a rethink? Nope the noise wins every time. Let’s dump them.