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Ancient iPad aka School Slate

In early schools, each child owned a book-sized writing slate encased in a wood frame. This was used for practicing script and it traveled to and from school with the student each day. The student scratched the slate with a slate pencil, which was a cylinder of rock. Eventually, the slate pencil was replaced by soft chalk, making it easier to write. Students did not preserve any of their work in the form of what is described today as class notes. Memorization, therefore, was emphasized and achieved through collective recitation led by the teacher. A keen memory characterized a good student.

-- PBS

http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/evolving_classroom/slate.html

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