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 (huehd.com, $40), still inexpensive, should yield better images (and lose the DIY flavor).