Lightboard Solution at U of T from MADLab @ Gerstein – By Mike Spears
A lightboard is an open-source hardware lecture recording tool described as a “glass chalkboard pumped full of light.” Designed to allow the lecturer to face viewers while simultaneously writing examples and instructions on a transparent surface, it is an appealing teaching technology that has been built and is in use at a number of academic institutions in Canada and the United States. However, given the lack of commercial availability of ready-to-use lightboard hardware, institutions that wish to provide this technology face challenging factors in building and installing lightboards. At the MADLab (Mobile App Development Lab) @Gerstein Library we have designed a lightboard solution that dramatically simplifies the technology by solving many of the challenges of lightboard installation. Our solution is portable, does not require a large permanent space, meticulous cleaning, complex lighting or custom video production hardware. At the same time we can achieve more complex video effects than with a traditional lightboard. To achieve this we use a combination off-the-shelf hardware and custom (soon-to-be publicly available) software. The software was developed here at the MADLab. In this presentation I will do a live demo of our software and hardware, and discuss the design process in which we worked with librarians and teaching faculty to perfect the feature set of our solution. I will also answer questions and provide tips on implementing this technology in your environment.