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Lightboard for Quick and Gorgeous Video Mini-Lectures

Michael Peshkin and J. Alex Birdwell

Course: Anywhere one would use a chalkboard

Download the PDF – Peshkin and Birdwell: Lightboard for Quick and Gorgeous Video Mini-Lectures


The lightboard can be used for online courses, for flipped or hybrid courses, or for supplemental material such as solutions to sample problems. For the subjects I teach, in class I use a chalkboard. I need to be able to quickly record a 5- to 10-minute video, and sometimes make it available immediately, without the help of video professionals—and without becoming one myself. But the video needs to look good!


Lightboard. It’s a glass panel pumped full of light. I write on it with neon markers and my writing glows. It’s filmed through the glass so that I’m facing the viewers, and I’m not blocking their view of what I write.

Objectives & Outcomes

Students are delighted to have online mini-lectures, and they make extensive use of them. Interestingly, they don’t want to entirely give up in-class mini-lectures, even though this would free up still more time for in-class active learning.


We built a record-it-yourself studio in Tech. Lots of engineering instructors now use the lightboard. A few instructors from other fields have discovered it; all are welcome. Worldwide, there are about 40 lightboards that I know of, mostly built from the open-source instructions I put on the Web at