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Back to School Week: The Evolving Classroom


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The classroom of today would be unrecognizable by Charles Dickens at the time he was writing David Copperfield.

Only a few decades ago, a typical classroom would be filled with grubby desks; hard, squeaking benches; scruffy log table books; illegible teacher’s scrawl on the blackboard; and dried-up inkwells.

In the 1970s, classrooms were revolutionized; many of these Dickensian items were replaced by personal calculators and ballpoint pens.

In the late 1980s, the personal computer entered the class framework, followed in the early 1990s by Internet connectivity to the World Wide Web.

Nowadays, individual electronic tablets are not an uncommon sight — consigning slate tablets, blackboards and chalk to the history books.

However, even though the classroom equipment has dramatically changed, pupils still need to listen to their teachers and study long and hard to ensure good exam grades.


grubby: dirty.
grubby in other languages

to squeak: to make a short and sharp sound.
to squeak in other languages

scruffy: of low quality because of long use or bad handling.
scruffy in other langauges

illegible: not readable.
illegible in other languages

scrawl: illegible handwriting.
scrawl in other languages

: a white or coloured substance used for writing or drawing.
chalk in other languages

Read by John Edwin Skelton.