Chalk it up to progress: Cleaner, more versatile whiteboards are quickly replacing traditional dust-clad chalkboards as a preferred tool for instruction.

While the old-fashioned chalkboard remains a fixture in most American classrooms, school designers have all but eliminated it from newer buildings. Emulating practices in the business world, they're outfitting most new and remodeled schools with whiteboards, in many cases installing high-tech devices that effectively turn them into jumbo computer screens.

Teachers then can surf the internet in front of class, save and print out

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