For decades, the traditional classroom environment was designed with a large chalkboard placed at the front of the room. With most instruction in a typical class-based around materials presented on the chalkboard, desks, and tables typically faced forward. The chalkboard was often difficult to view and messy to work with. More than that, the teacher inevitably spent a good portion of the class with his or her back to the students.
The chalkboard has gradually given way to overhead projectors or whiteboards combined with dry-erase markers. Even though these features are common today, they leave ample room for improvement. With a closer look at Lightboard for education purposes, you will easily see why many educators have already retired their outdated methods and have moved into the future.
The Challenges Presented by Outdated Features
A traditional classroom is generally a live environment that brings the teacher and students together in a classroom. Visibility of the dry erases board or projector screen is generally great from most vantage points in the room. In the event that a student is having viewing problems, the educator can make a live adjustment. Otherwise, the student can relocate to another seat in the classroom.
However, online learning is increasingly commonplace. When educators present materials and lessons online, they often must use visuals in the same way that they would use them in a classroom. Unfortunately, dry erase boards, chalkboards and overhead projectors are not easy to work within this type of situation. This is because the educator may need to spend a considerable amount of time with his or her back to the camera. In addition, the visibility of these surfaces on a recording may be problematic.
What Is a Lightboard?
As is the case with most innovations, Lightboard was created out of necessity by two professors who were frustrated with the production of virtual learning materials. Lightboard is a completely transparent glass board that has LED lighting embedded inside it. When the professor writes on the glass using neon markers, the ink glows beautifully. Generally, the room must be rather dark, and direct lighting should not strike the glass.
To ensure that the images are presented clearly rather than backward, the Lightboard system may use a mirror. Otherwise, the footage may be digitally reversed. Typically, Lightboard is used to create online lessons or tutorials, but it may also be used in a live format class. Lightboard is used by educators at many leading universities across the country and beyond, and its popularity continues to grow. It is increasingly being used in K-12 environments.
Incorporating Lightboard in Your Classroom
While Lightboard was designed specifically with online education in mind, it can be used in a live classroom as well. In fact, many educators record their live lessons using Lightboard technology, and these lessons are placed online so that students can watch the lesson again as needed to reinforce learning. To ensure that students can view the presentation properly rather than in reverse, a mirror may need to be placed in the classroom. Otherwise the Lightboard can be used in the same way as a chalkboard or dry erase board may be used, and the lesson can be recorded in real-time. In larger classrooms, multiple TVs or viewing screens may be placed throughout the room, and live feed can be distributed throughout the space and recorded for later viewing.
The Incredible Benefits of Lightboard in a Virtual Classroom
Experienced educators understandably learn to minimize the amount of time that they turn their backs on students to write on a chalkboard or dry erase board. In a virtual classroom, it is imperative that you do not turn away from the camera during your presentations. Through Lightboard, the instructor can easily create educational videos that require minimal or no editing. This dramatically reduces the amount of time and energy that it takes to create online lessons. At the same time, it improves the conveyance of material to students.
The Impact on Learning
In some schools, Lightboard for education is being used by students as well as teachers. For example, the San Diego State University’s library has a special studio available to students for the creation of their own Lightboard videos for projects, presentations and more. Some students and faculty members have created Lightboard presentations for competitions, to apply for special funding and for many other purposes. Lightboard enables you to also embed and even write over a PowerPoint presentation for added functionality.
At Northwestern, PowerPoint has been used to make video presentations. Unlike with other types of video presentations, the unique blend of PowerPoint with Lightboard generally creates high-quality presentations without the need for time-consuming editing in the post-production phase. The impact of Lightboard on learning extends beyond the classroom. Many of the lectures, lessons, tutorials, and presentations that have been made for the classroom or for other purposes have found their way to video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube. Because of this, their content can benefit a much wider range of viewers.
Affordable, Accessible Technology That Elevates the Student Experience
While the ability for educators to save time creating online materials is undoubtedly an important benefit, the impact that this technology has on the student experience must always be taken into account as a priority. Through Lightboard, students may have access to more detailed online materials that are easier to view and understand. They can refer back to these materials as many times as needed without relying only on the notes that they took in class. In addition, educators may combine PowerPoint materials with their own lessons and notes to elevate the material that they cover and to improve understanding.
Does Lightboard have a place in your live or virtual classroom? After you learn more about the many benefits of Lightboard and about how easy it is to create your own Lightboard, you will be ready to take your lessons to the next level.