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The Blog on Emerging Academic Technologies


Webcam + Desk Lamp = Improved Virtual Office Hours

Educational technology consultant Farhad Anklesaria devised an easy, low cost solution for a faculty member who wanted to set up virtual office hours but also needed to go beyond simple chat or instant messaging. As he explains:

It was important that she be able to hand-draw diagrams and write out equations that the remote student could view as they talked. One low-cost solution (proof-of-concept hack?) involves clipping a webcam to a desk lamp, aimed down on a writing pad. Using Skype, writing or diagrams on the page were adequately viewable. A newer webcam such as the Hue HD (, $40), still inexpensive, should yield better images (and lose the DIY flavor).

Click here to see how it's set up

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