From University Diaries:

Not only some discussion is crucial; clear signals about what the professor considers important to know are crucial. The things we go to the trouble of writing on the board with our very own fingers are the important things, not the twelve bullet points some book has provided for your slide. Physically writing on the board is also letting the students watch the professor’s brain operate right there in front of them. PowerPoint of course makes professors just as passive as it makes students. Everyone reads off of a nice neat packaged page. Writing on the board is messy, human, dynamic — thought in motion. Active.

Just today, I was illustrating Spenser on the chalkboard. There are good pedagogical reasons to use classical art for the same purposes, but I find it a lot more fun to scribble a picture of a dragon as big as a mountain and a teeny-tiny shining knight on a horse then to try to find a Raphael of that image. I took four years of art in high school, but I’m not much of a draftsman–in fact, I’ve never been able to draw a horse than didn’t look like a pig with a longish nose. I bet it serves the purposes of visual learning about as well as a Raphael, though, while providing a whole lot more in the way of laughs.

But every year–even every class period–my drawings get just a little bit better. One of these years, I should do them up right and publish them in the blog, for the amusement of my former students.

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