Introduction: The GoDesk
A growing number of classrooms are using instructional technology as a daily resource. Students in my school, for example, have each been issued Chromebooks. These Chromebooks are used in each of their classes, and are becoming just as vital as a notebook, folder, and binder.
My students use the keyboard controls on their Chromebooks to fly drones. However, using two hands on their keyboards would require them to be seated, so that the computer is supported as they use both hands to type.
The GoDesk provides students a way of making two-handed computing, mobile! With this simple and inexpensive classroom hack, teachers and students can make a DIY project that allows students to take their computer desk on the go.
Grab a bunch of copy paper box lids(Note: Copy paper boxes are an undervalued resource from the copy rooms!)
You will also need:
- Paracord or clothesline - 10' length
- Pronged Tee Nuts - 4
- Spring Cord Lock - 1
- Foam Pipe Insulation - 9" length
- Awl or Nail Set (to poke holes)
- Hot Glue Gun
Step 1: Prepping the Box
From each corner of the lid, measure 1" vertically and 1" horizontally. Use your awl or nail set to poke a hole where those 1" lines intersect.
On my first version, I pushed the tee nut through the hole, leaving the flat washer on the top of the lid. But, after the first students used the GoDesk, the washer pulled out very easily.
So I changed the orientation of the tee nut so that the washer is underneath the lid. I also secured the tee nut with some hot glue.
Step 2: Adding the Rope
On one end of the 10' rope, add a spring cord lock and an overhand stopper knot.
Now looking at the second image, thread the other end of the rope as follows:
- through the bottom right tee nut from underneath
- through the bottom left tee nut from above
- through the upper left tee nut from underneath
- through the upper right tee nut from above
Then add a couple of overhand stopper knots to that end to prevent the rope from being pulled through the tee nut.
Step 3: Finishing the Neck Strap
Gather the two lengths of rope and add the 9" piece of foam pipe insulation. This acts as a little cushion for the back of the neck.
You also might want to consider adding glue or tape to prevent the insulation from coming off the ropes.
Step 4: Making Adjustments
If you want to adjust the height of the GoDesk, then simply slide the cord lock and and pull the end of the rope. With a little wiggling, the rope will shorten and the GoDesk will be a better height for the user.
Step 5: The GoDesk in Action
The students found the GoDesk very convenient, especially when needing to use two handed keyboard control to fly their drones. The GoDesk is surprisingly sturdy and the students were confident that their computers were safe and properly supported.
Step 6: Final Thoughts
I really loved putting together this project. I am hoping that teachers and students in other subject areas will find this helpful. The best part about it? It's very inexpensive! The box lids are free from your copy room, and the other materials are less than $3 per GoDesk. And if the GoDesk needs replacing, head to the copy room and get a new box lid! I even let the students autograph the GoDesk after using it.
Thanks for taking a look. If you have any comments/questions/suggestions, please let me know!