Our first hackathon!


UBC's all about promoting inclusivity, accessibility, and diversity, especially in the classroom. Building upon the efforts to improve campus learning spaces led by the UBC Learning Spaces team, we looked at ways to increase accessibility in the classroom.

What it does

Surfboard is designed to augment the lecture experience. Surfboard records the whiteboard during a lecture and streams it for students to access. If you're stuck at the back of the room, away due to illness, or can't follow your professor's train of thought, Surfboard enables you to access lecture material on-demand.

Surfboard includes a new "whiteboard summary" feature. At the end of the lecture, Surfboard presents a sped-up playback ("stop-motion") of the whiteboard, allowing you to see the development of ideas and diagrams. We use Microsoft Azure's Computer Vision API to identify when the professor is blocking the board to ensure that the result is clear. This product also eliminates the need for students to photograph the board during/after a lecture.

Recorded whiteboards can be accessed on demand through Canvas. Using the Canvas API, Surfboard can pull in the student's courses and their respective Surfboard material.

How we built it

We used the Microsoft Azure API and made some progress towards a MVP.

Challenges we ran into

We had a lot of trouble getting the github repo working on our laptops, especially with Gradle. We also had difficulties getting the Azure API working properly, but thanks to a friendly NwHacks mentor we were able to get on the right track!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • learning API basics
  • learning the Azure API
  • experience using InVision prototyping tool
  • going through the product design process (from idea to prototype)
  • having fun at our first hackathon!

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