(left) James A. Sherwood, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Dean of Engineering for Graduate Students, Professor, Director, Co-Director and (right) Randy Tyndall, IT, Instructional Technologist

The Faculty Sandbox (O’Leary Library 324) contains equipment identical to a classroom configuration as well as state of the art interactive touch screens, multimedia computers, videoconferencing technology for live webinars, and green screens for video recording.  The new custom-built Lightboard presentation system contains software that allows faculty to face the camera while writing on the board. 

Accessible to all faculty members by keycard during library business hours, the Faculty Sandbox includes a standard teaching podium for training and recording on the Echo360 lecture capture platform, which is now available in more than half (92) of the classrooms on campus. An increasing number of faculty members are using the platform, especially those seeking to use the flipped classroom model, where students watch recorded lectures outside of class and participate in discussion or group projects in the classroom.

Faculty who want to learn how to edit or enhance their lecture recordings with Camtasia or Brainshark software can do so — alongside an IT mentor — on one of the Sandbox’s two multimedia computers (one Mac, one PC). The room is also equipped with videoconferencing technology for faculty who want to conduct live webinars.
The Faculty Sandbox’s main attraction, however, is the custom-built Lightboard presentation system. Originally developed by Northwestern University Prof. Michael Peshkin, the Lightboard is a 4-foot-by-8-foot pane of glass with strips of white LEDs on the top and bottom that illuminate whatever the user writes in fluorescent marker.
 The real magic of the Lightboard, though, is in the camera software. Since the user looks at the camera through the glass while recording, whatever they write appears backward. The camera inverts the image so the viewer can read the writing and see the instructor’s face at the same time. (Read more here.)