McMaster Professor lights up students’ lives with The LightBoard Depot

With the world being surrounded by darkness after being hit by a pandemic, technology has shined a light to keep us all connected. Zoom meetings and online learning have brought forward yes, new ways to bake bread, but also new tactics to learn and digest content. The revolutionary learning tool, The LightBoard Depot is a force to be reckoned with while working remotely.

Created in Hamilton, Ont., Chris CavalieriAdrian Kitai, and Mike Justason had the bright idea to improve the way we communicate online through presentations, classes, and more. Erik Sorensen, McMaster University Astronomy & Physics Professor, says The LightBoard Depot is, “better than certainly a whiteboard or even chalk.” He explains that if thinking of buying a high-end iPad, or a laptop for doing your teaching, that The LightBoard Depot is the best way to go.

Frustrated with conventional online teaching tools, the creators of The LightBoard Depot recognized that there was a disconnect between the speaker and their audience. “Canadians [and people globally] were losing their education, their drive, ability to work and overall their connection to one another at an alarming rate, which was something the three of us could not stand to watch,” explained Cavalieri.

The LightBoard Depot utilizes a webcam, tripod, and a piece of glass that allows the user to broadcast to an audience in a conference, seminar, or classroom setting. Showcasing Free Open Source Software, The LightBoard Depot user can write, draw, and explain with ease as the technology flips the words around so an audience can understand.

“What I like about it is that I don’t have to change my sort of style of teaching around too much,” Sorensen boasted. “Compared to writing on a blackboard or something like this, this is way nicer because you have the audience in front of you.”

The design allows the user to face their audience, speaking directly to them while maintaining eye contact. The user can work with Lightboard in various spaces of their home with a 54-inch transparent screen. “My desk is just on the other side of the screen. Whenever I need to teach here, I can just go over and get going,” Sorensen highlights.

The LightBoard Depot is focusing on creating an affordable, compact unit that is user friendly. During these unprecedented times, students and staff are realizing that virtual learning can be a challenge if not properly prepared.

Creating a way to maintain a face-to-face relationship with audiences has led to improved engagement. “The technology is also perfect for spreadsheets, word documents, PDFs, and videos – just click a button and the content appears together with the presenter in an interactive space,” Justason explains.

“I never had a problem that the students were saying that they couldn’t read what I was writing,” Sorensen mentioned. “We do a lot of seminars, conferences, and The LightBoard Depot never had any problems.” Stay connected, stay motivated, and learn with Lightboard Depot.

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