S. Koc, J. Goodell

Cleveland State University (UNITED STATES)
The Lightboard is a teaching tool that allows instructors to write notes, sketch diagrams, and incorporate PowerPoint slides while lecturing and being recorded on camera. The setup allows the instructor to illustrate lessons without turning their backs to the students. The text and information is reversed and oriented properly; thus, viewers see a presenter facing them allowing text and information readable by the students. This presentation will include an introduction to this tool, production equipment and materials required, how the Lightboard works as well as its advantages and disadvantages. In addition, along with teaching examples, the implications of its use in teaching online and in flipped classrooms will be discussed.

The Lightboard is a chalkboard-sized piece of architectural glass with a track of LEDs around its edges. When combined with dry-erase markers, a computer, monitor, studio lights and camera, it provides the means to create highly engaging presentations that can be shared online. “The Lightboard can be used to create mini lectures for flipped classrooms, demonstrate how to solve multi-step equations, illustrate complex processes and promote up-and-coming campaigns and events” (“Center”, 2016, # 2). It is an open source hardware. The developer is an engineering professor, Michael Peshkin, from Northwestern University, USA. He states: "The Lightboard lets me draw highly visible sketches and equations as I lecture, work with my drawings in a natural way, face the camera, and capture good quality video without post-production editing" (Peshkin, 2016, # 5). Peshkin "uses a 4’ x 8’ sheet of tempered glass with holes drilled through it, surrounded by a metal frame. Around the protruding rail of the frame he embedded strips of LEDs to light up the inside of the glass, and he hangs a black backdrop behind him to provide the necessary visual contrast. He works with PPG’s Starphire ultra clear tempered glass. The glass has a very low iron content, which makes it highly transparent LED lightboard construction. The glass acts as a sort of optical waveguide, controlling the light from the LEDs around the glass to seemingly illuminate the pane from within, ensuring total internal reflection—no light leaks out at the edges of the frame. And this makes the ink in the fluorescent dry erase markers he uses brightly stand out on the surface" (Liverani, 2015, # 4).

The separation of instructor and learners creates a psychological and communications space that needs to be bridged. This space is called the transactional distance (Moore & Kearsley, 1996). The Lightboard lecture recordings can help reduce this transactional distance mimicking traditional classroom teaching and providing the teaching presence that is important when teaching online. The lecture recordings can be used in online learning, for homework and exam review as well as flipping the classroom. The technology is particularly valuable for instructors in science, math, or technology who often must work through formula or explain complex processes using illustrations (“Lightboard”, 2016). "This technology is intended for studio use, and so is not constructed for ad hoc deployment in a classroom.Currently the system cannot be purchased as a turnkey product, although instructions for ordering and assembling a frame are listed on the site" (“Lightboard”, 2016, # 10).