Blackboards were the original teacher RAM. They are a volatile form of information memory, made for immediate communication and wiped after use. Very renewable, very green. They even turned green for a time (though "greenboard" never caught on).
Of course, they have been vanishing from classrooms for several decades. My wife, also a teacher, maintained that there would be a respiratory disease named "teacher lung" at some point from inhaling chalk dust. The yellow chalk would be found to be even more dangerous. She revised her theory when whiteboards entered. Now the disease would be from inhaling marker and board cleaning products.
You still see whiteboards in classroom and lecture halls, but they are probably going to disappear too. Document cameras were big and are still around because they tie in nicely to that projector system that throws the PowerPoint, document and web page on the wall.
Has anyone done a good study on how it has changed teaching or how it has changed the way students learn? Probably those studies exist.
I can guess at a few results. Students expect that those slides will be available after the lecture. I suspect that taking notes is a lost skill. Maybe learning has increased in those classroom with teachers that have terrible handwriting if they use prepared slides. A lecture that is "prepared" is probably a better one. Then again, a slide presentation is so easy to reuse semester after semester that maybe some spontaneity and serendipity has been lost. Are slide lectures even less dynamic?
I did a little searching online, but I didn't come across anything interesting on chalkboard pedagogy.
What I did come across was an exhibit at the Museum of the History of Science University of Oxford back in 2005 called "Bye Bye Blackboard." The start for it was a 1931 visit by Albert Einstein.
Einstein was a celebrity, and after one of his lectures a blackboard with his notes was preserved. It became a famous object in the museum.
To mark the centenary of the Special Theory of Relativity, they invited some famous Brits to chalk on blackboards the same size as Einstein’s, and they displayed these guest blackboards.
The Einstein blackboard (shown here) was used in his 1931 lecture. At that time Einstein’s theories of relativity were being combined with astronomical data to explain the shifts towards the red in the spectra of distant galaxies, which indicated that the universe was expanding. In his lecture Einstein outlined a fairly simple model to explain this apparent expansion.
If you have a good reference on chalkboard pedagogy or want to give your own theory, post a comment. Don't tell me about "smart" boards because I have never met anyone who uses one regularly or well.