SSU Introduces ‘Digital Chalkboard’ for In-Class Lectures and Online Learning

reallightboardpicFaculty at Sonoma State University have a new type of digital “chalkboard” to reach students online and supplement classroom learning.


The Faculty Center’s new “lightboard” is a framed glass window that professors write on with dry-erase markers. With the help of a green screen, video lighting and a simple mirror to flip the image, the written notes can be transformed on camera to look like they are floating in front of the professor.

“Videos are a big deal these days,” says Laurel Holmstrom-Keyes, women’s and gender studies professor and academic senate analyst. “With lightboard lectures, students are able to pause and repeat something that they didn’t understand. They can also view those lessons anywhere and learn at their own pace.”

One option for lightboard lectures is a flip classroom experience for certain courses. Students can watch the lecture at home and come to class ready to put the lecture into practice. This flip classroom lesson plan can allow professors more time for hands-on work with students, rather than spending the entire class time lecturing.
Combined with the power to present pictures, graphs and even live video, the lightboard helps create a more engaging lecture. A teleprompter can also be used in-studio to record a full scripted lecture. The lightboard was specifically designed for users with limited video production experience.

The lightboard is open to all faculty and staff at Sonoma State. “I think the use of this lightboard is only limited by people’s imagination,” says Holmstrom-Keyes. “It’s pretty awesome. Its uses are infinite.

“The lightboard has already been used to create a business course that launched this summer for intersession, and other uses are on the horizon. “If the demand is there, I don’t see why we won’t be able to create more lightboards for different uses in the classroom and around campus,” says Robert Bach, Faculty Center information technology consultant.

Faculty and others interested in using the lightboard can contact the Faculty Center, located on the first floor of the Library in room 1112, at 664-2659 or