Lightboard Studio


The Lightboard studio is available to anyone in the Franklin & Marshall community. It is a resource for creating supplemental instructional video that can help you introduce visual ideas, review topics, flip your classroom to free up class time, or create a bank of reference materials.

The lightboard is a heavy pane of glass lit by bright LEDs. Like a clear dry erase board, the LEDs illuminate the brightly colored markings and you can face your audience while writing.

How To


example video


Rehearse your presentation at a dry erase board prior to your presentation.

  • Leave a blank space at head level; otherwise, the writing will obscure your face.
  • Time your presentation to get an idea of how long the video will be. Multiply this by 5 to get an idea of the minimum amount of time to allow in the studio. Almost all sessions involve at least 3 takes, and additional time is needed to set up, get comfortable in the room, and address technical matters.
  • If you’d like to refer to notes while you present, feel free to bring a hard copy or a mobile device. There is a small desk in the studio that is below the frame of the video, so you can refer to your notes or device without them showing up in the finished product.

Text, images, video

If you would like to incorporate text, images, or video into your presentation, you should set them up in a Powerpoint presentation and upload it to Google Drive or a USB flash drive. You will be able to access it on a computer that’s set up in the studio and advance through the slides with a remote during your presentation.

  • You must use a 16x9 aspect ratio (Themes > Slide size)
  • We recommend keeping all content to one half of the slides so that you have room to write and be seen. Titles and headings are an exception; if centered at the top of the slide, they will typically appear above your head. If you are right-handed, keep the content on the right side of the slide. If you are left-handed, keep it on the left. Templates with these settings are available for download.
  • The content of your Powerpoint presentation will appear on the preview monitor in the room, but not on the lightboard itself. Annotating your slides can take some getting used to, so we recommend practicing this before you start recording.

Templates with these settings are available here:

Setup checklist

A list of instructions is on the wall to the left of the computer in the studio's tech room. We hope that it will be sufficient to allow you to use the studio by yourself, but please reach out to the Instructional & Emerging Technology staff if you have any questions or if you'd like us to help film your video. The instructions are also available here for your perusal. There is also a shorter checklist, posted on the door of the tech room and on the wall on the way out of the studio, with reminders of what to do on your way out so that the studio will be ready for its next use.

Presenter notes

If you would like the "presenter notes" view of your Powerpoint presentation to be visible to you while you are recording, please follow the instructions below.

1) Log into the MacBook Pro in the tech room.

2) Connect the Mini-DisplayPort video adapter to one of the ports on the left side of the MacBook Pro.

3) Turn on the wall-mounted display below the camera in the lightboard room (the power button is near the lower corner on the left side of the display).

4) Open your presentation using Keynote.

5) Click the Play button. You should see a clock on the MacBook Pro, your first slide on the display next to the camera, and your presenter notes on the display below the camera.

a) If not, press Esc and click Play > Customize Presenter Display. From there, you can choose what should be showing on each display:

Color LCD: The MacBook Pro's display. Keep only the clock here to minimize load on the graphics card and reduce the possibility of crashes.

BMD HDMI: The program input. This should be set to display the slideshow.

E505: The auxiliary display below the camera. You can modify it to add whichever presenter note elements are desired.

b) Click Done and then click the Play button. Make sure everything's showing up where you want it.

6) When you're finished in the studio, disconnect the Mini-DisplayPort video adapter from the left side of the MacBook Pro.


To make an appointment, please contact

Northwestern University has generously shared their plans and ideas for the lightboard