As one would expect, there are some cool gadgets in Japan, and some of them can be found in schools. For example, when I first started here I was amazed to see that they have a little machine that sucks the chalk dust off blackboard wipers. It’s bonkers. When I was young, the teachers opened the window and gave the wiper a few hefty bashes against the outside wall, sending clouds of dust billowing along the side of the building. Last week, I saw a teacher use what I can only call a vibrating pen, whose nib allows you to erase photocopies. What a revelation!
However, what I consider to be the highlight of school gadgets resides on a sideboard just behind the head teachers desk. It is so utterly awesome that I have been wanting to get a video clip of it in action for the past year, but since being caught doing so would surely label me as “worthy of being certified”, I felt I should wait until the staff room was empty. And today, in my last week, I finally got my chance…
(If you are reading this via RSS, you may well need to click through to watch the movie)
The lights indicate how far “done” the pencil is, but I was rushing so much to film it before being noticed that I didn’t get a shot of the leads, which come out super sharp.