Jack Uldrich
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Erasing into the Future

Posted in Analogy, Culture, Education, Future, History, Quotes

Colincovert_1257794726_blackboard  “Only the hand that erases can write the truth”. So wrote German theologian, philosopher and mystic Meister Eckardt more than 800 years ago.

They are still good words to live by.

In the middle of the 19th century, blackboards were all the rage. In fact, some universities, seeking to gain a competitive advantage, even advertised that they were the only college within “a 100 miles” to sport the new technology.

This historical analogy is worth keeping in mind as university’s today tout that they offer every student a laptop or, perhaps, house the only high-tech lab “within a 100 miles.” The technology is no doubt sophisticated and it does offer a real advantage but it is important to remember that it will eventually be replaced by something else.

The real question, of course, is how soon. Far too many teachers, professors and schools continue to rely on blackboards not because they are the best tool (although they still do have a role to play) but because their hands (and minds) can’t erase their old habits and behaviors.

We are racing into the future but for those organizations unwilling to unlearn and change all they are really doing is erasing their students future.

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