Have you attended a zoom lecture where the instructor struggled to write down equations, formulas and basic mathematics? Although some professors have touchscreen devices to write on, it is difficult to expect the student instructors, PhD students and post-docs teaching various courses to arrange these devices at a short notice at their own expense.

On the other hand, there are YouTube educators like Vi Hart, Numberphile that do a fantastic job of explaining without touchscreens.

What it does

The idea is to build a of a smartphone stand that can be used to mount a camera pointing towards the table. It is a DIY object, completely open source and robust enough to fit any phone and standard A4 sheets. The user can then simply stream his/her work table and write normally like he would on a blackboard to present a lecture.

There are two versions of the project. One is a carboard model, and the other is a 3D-printable model. All the details of manufacturing them is uploaded on github.

This project is perfect for switching to mass online teaching on a short notice, especially in poorer countries like India where touch devices are seen as a luxury but smartphones have a much greater reach.

Think of Google Carboard, but this time it is actually useful for education! It's a very easy idea, but it's a pity that no such products are easily available.

Future of the project

Various directions are possible.

On the hardware side, we can probably add an inbuilt light and/or a webcam. Furthermore, with standardised height, one can build an app to automatically detect and crop out an A4 of exact dimensions and stabilise it while streaming.

Built With

  • cardboard
  • openscad
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