Communicating in the Classroom – Lightboards / Learning Glass


Being able to interact with or connect to your audience while you write is likely a winning way to keep your audience focused on your content.  One way to do this is to use a lightboard as shown above.  This is a piece of transparent material with a ring of LED lights on the outer edge of pane pointing into the pane.  The light is barely visible in the pane but it will certainly light up the ink of pens that are used to write on the board, particularly if the pens use brightly colored fluorescent inks.  The board used above by Ben McMorran for showing how to do a few physics homework assignments, is one I created for a budget of under $100 dollars and consists of 43 x 30 inch 1/4 inch thick pane of plexiglass ($60) , 4 shelf brackets and 4 small c-clamps (all about $3 each ) an t LED string with a variable voltage control for brightness ($15) and some duck tape.   Matt Anderson, an University of Oregon graduate and promoter of lightboards has his on take on their use for distance education.  Also needed is something like a small tripod to hold a cell phone, and then the cell phone itself.  When the instructor writes on the board, the text is appears backwards to the a viewer on the other side of the panel.  However, the default mode for most  “Selfie” cameras is to reverse the image, so use the selfie or screen camera in video mode (not the rear camera) to capture the content and either record it for later use or stream  it for a live feed!

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