New tools for teaching and learning

11 February 2021

The move to teaching and learning online has made us all more acquainted with new and different tools for our work. Usually, we think of software in this category, but there are also new hardware tools being explored by faculty and staff.

Eric Mistry draws on a light board


One of those hardware tools is the lightboard. It’s been around for a few years but there is now renewed interest. David Liben-Nowell in Computer Science was an early adopter of using a lightboard for his class lectures — you can read about his experience on the LTC Blog. Academic Technologist Brett Coup recently sat down with Aaron Heidgerken-Greene, the Instrument Project Manager for Physics and Astronomy, who has created a desktop lightboard available for use in the Anderson Hall Makerspace. And due to growing faculty interest, PEPS assembled a lightboard that is connected to a regular Zoom meeting set-up, making it easy for faculty to record lectures with the lightboard ahead of time or teaching class straight from this space, switching from a lively Zoom discussion to a lightboard session that illuminates a difficult concept. If you are interested in teaching with this tool, please contact Dann Hurlbert (dhurlbert) for more information.

If the lightboard can create a sense of classroom through the innovative use of light, camera and glass, the web application can create a sense of community in a virtual space. Brett Coup explains that application and some recent usage at Carleton in this blog post. To get started, simply go to and create your own virtual space for up to 25 people. If you need help with design, please submit a ticket via the ITS Helpdesk Portal.

New Software Licenses

ITS has purchased site licenses for and Gradescope. Both tools integrate with Moodle, and the ATs will be offering spring break workshops for both tools.

For those of you who are new to teaching with Zoom, or if you’d like a refresher on getting more out of it, here’s an article we previously published on the platform.

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  • 2021-02-17 11:40:05
    Daniela Kohen

    I have been using the lightboard to teach synchronously and it is awesome! Thanks!