Monday, August 21, 2017

The $200 Light Board at COLTT 2017

ID&T is always looking out for learning technology innovations. These can be the more recent innovations such as AR/VR/MR, or a remix of existing technologies that create new uses. The Teaching and Learning with Technology Micro-grant (TLTM) program is good for this as faculty can fund their innovative learning technology ideas and pilot in classrooms. This combination of technology remix and the TLTM is what caught my eye at this year’s COLTT conference, CU-Boulder’s wonderful two-day event featuring all things teaching and learning in the online environment.

A Regis faculty member applied for and was awarded a 2017-18 TLTM to fund construction of a Learning Glass, an enhanced white board (also known as a light board) with special lighting for capturing whiteboard-based teaching segments. Unfortunately, the faculty discovered that materials costs had skyrocketed well past the $2,000 grant limit, forcing a withdrawal from the project.

Enter eLearning Consortium of Colorado members Kae Novak (Front Range CC) and Chris Luchs (CCC Online). For $168, they not only built a working light board but built it live, in front of a sizable crowd, at a COLTT Idea Forge session. Their plan was elegantly simple: use easily obtainable materials, do a proof-of-concept, and let session attendees critique and improve upon the idea. Chris had prechanneled the 2x4s for the plexiglass and purchased the hardware and LED light strip. Then it was putting everything together. Within an hour, and with audience participation, the board was constructed. Once the lights were turned on, the board was ready for attendees to begin testing the board using Expo Neon markers. The results were truly amazing.

The light board is something that ID&T will be building this fall. There isn’t sufficient real estate at this time to build a full-sized floor unit so the initial board will be desktop-size. Same functionality with less space on which to write.

Huge shoutout to Kae and Chris for proving once again that when it comes to innovative teaching and learning with technology, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Additonal resources

Presenter contacts:
Educause - 7 Things You Should Know About Light Boards

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