At 8:57 PM on Tuesday evening, a new UCL star was born
UCL Needs Boards Now is a fledgling campaign hoping to bring back the humble chalkboard to UCL’s classroom. The group is angry at UCL Estates’ “outright hostility” towards subjects “which need classrooms which are considered ‘technologically backwards'”. They’re hoping that UCL will begin to cater to subjects that do not want or need the technologies that we see in so many of UCL’s classrooms. As they say, “not everybody delivers lectures via powerpoint.”
The group is a mix of both students and lecturers. When we reached out to the group, it was an unnamed lecturer who responded.
What happened to a nice big wall with a chalkboard that one can actually write on? Estates happened.
At the moment, the group are firmly based on the internet. But they’re hoping to take it beyond Twitter and Facebook and onto campus. “The best place to start is obviously by generating some interest among the student body. The university doesn’t listen to the lecturers… maybe it’ll listen to the students.”
By reaching out to where most the students will be found (hunched over their laptops at 3am), the group hopes to generate a following before going head to head with UCL Estates IRL, as it were.
They’ve even tried to turn the recent bello scandal to their advantage, hoping to start the #chalkboardgate trend.
It doesn’t appear to have taken off that much, yet
The movement seems to be in the very early days, however. The page joined Facebook at roughly 1pm on October 14, and they first tweeted at 8:57pm the same day.
Seeing as so many students study mainly on their computers, nowadays, are the group worried that their argument will fall on deaf ears?
Not at all, apparently. The group say that the process of learning from powerpoint presentation is “toxic”, for both students and academics. “Teachers prepare a set of slides they can whiz through with a minimum of effort. Students waste paper printing them out and then only study them in the month before exams.”
And people who should love learning on sparkly screens also share some of their sentiments
@uclneedsboards I work in online learning at UCL, a potential nemeses? But I support your campaign for better learning spaces…
— Matt Jenner (@mattjenner) October 14, 2014
Online learning also doesn’t go against what UCLNBN stand for. “New technologies aren’t dangerous, people using them in inappropriate ways are.” Their main gripe is with the use of the space we have within UCL.
After all, “Why rip something that’s worked for ages off the wall when you don’t know how the alternative will work, if at all?”
Featured image credit: UCL Needs Boards Now