It’s a great idea, but I didn’t even dare think it possible
We’ve had blackboard paint for at least a century. Teachers at our school sometimes paint their closet doors, or part of a wall, to use as a chalkboard.
I prefer whiteboards, though.
Watching Neil deGrasse Tyson on Nova: Science Now, I caught a reference to a researcher whose lab walls are all painted with “dry-erase” paint. (The NOVA piece is the episode on how the brain works; this segment deals with researcher David Eagleman.)
Is that even possible?
Quick answer: Yes!
Lowe’s carries IdeaPaint, the stuff displayed in the graphic above. It isn’t as cheap as other paint, but compared to the cost of a whiteboard, it’s pretty good. RustOleum manufactures a version available at Home Depot and other outlets. It’s advertised as cheap as $20 per kit online, but runs as high as $40. One kit covers about 49 square feet (7 feet by 7 feet). I’ve found at least five different manufacturers of the stuff, with different features.
I haven’t calculated prices (at about $3.25/square foot), but there are also dry-erase skins which can be applied to any wall — with the added advantage that the product claims to be erasable for virtually any marker, including Sharpies® and other permanent markers. One manufacturer offers skins in clear, to allow underlying paint colors to show through, and white, and says it will match colors on a whole-roll basis (pricey, I’ll wager).
Uses for math and writing should be obvious — think about those mural-sized wall maps in a geography or history class, covered with clear, dry-erase paint . . .
Wouldn’t it be great if school districts had architects, or instruction coaches, who knew about this stuff and could help us keep up in the technology and tool wars/sweepstakes?
- Dry-erase painting at Charlestown (state? Massachusetts?) schools:
- Case study from Milford High, Milford, Massachusetts
- Case study, Dever-McCormack School, Boston school district
- Evernote software teams with IdeaPaint . . . look at the video