The GoDesk

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Introduction: The GoDesk

About: I've been a teacher/learner/maker of Math since 1994. I am also a Milken National Educator & NYS Master Teacher Emeritus. Lover of family, music, DIYing, and the great outdoors. Life is good! Also please …

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.

Supplies

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

For tools:

  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • 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:

  1. through the bottom right tee nut from underneath
  2. through the bottom left tee nut from above
  3. through the upper left tee nut from underneath
  4. 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!

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    18 Comments

    0
    bettbee
    bettbee

    12 days ago

    Thank you for a well explained and helpful instructable! I'm going to use this to make a surface not only for my computer, but to draw on.

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Reply 9 days ago

    You're welcome! Let me know how it works for you!

    0
    sfot
    sfot

    Question 9 days ago on Step 6


    did you add anything to prevent the laptop from sliding off of the box lid? such as velcro or double-sided tape?

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Answer 9 days ago

    I did not. The Chromebooks have rubber strips on them that actually keep them from sliding off.

    0
    MikeC366
    MikeC366

    13 days ago

    Although it would be more expensive to build out, this simple design could be used with the lightest piece of wood (or maybe a firm plastic), nylon straps, D-rings, buckles, and snaps ... In a design that would allow for the unit to be carried similar to a laptop bag when not in use. Durability so the unit holds up all year or for a couple years. You have me thinking ...

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Reply 12 days ago

    Wow! That sounds cool. Please let me know if you come up with a design!

    0
    woodykitson
    woodykitson

    13 days ago

    Ah! - Simple, effective, Affordable, practical. Great build!

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Reply 12 days ago

    Thanks. Love the cheapness. And if the box is damaged or breaks? I'll just get a new one from the copy room!

    0
    VladY1
    VladY1

    13 days ago

    Very portable. Bravo!

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Reply 12 days ago

    Thanks. The kids really enjoyed using them!

    0
    ohnomrbill
    ohnomrbill

    13 days ago

    I can see why you are a NYS Masters Teacher!

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Reply 12 days ago

    Thank you!

    0
    p00115565
    p00115565

    13 days ago

    Brilliant! Thank you so much! I teach middle school science, and this will allow students to use laptops during some of the labs outside of the classroom.

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Reply 12 days ago

    Great to hear! Let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements!

    0
    pixel tamer
    pixel tamer

    13 days ago

    Very nice idea to create mobility for practically no cost.
    I have found that supporting anything around the neck is rather annoying. I would suggest supporting the weight on the shoulder. If you bring the straps back under the armpits, a cross string at the shoulder blades would keep the straps from falling off the shoulders.
    Also a little cardboard rib all the way around to keep the computer from sliding off should one bend over a little too far. A little Velcro could also keep things stable.

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Reply 12 days ago

    Awesome tips! Thank you!!

    0
    Ms-Phippard
    Ms-Phippard

    Question 14 days ago on Step 6

    This is brilliant. Can you let me know what kind of drones you are using that the students can pilot from chromebooks? We are looking at getting some drones for our robotics classes, but having trouble finding ones that don't seem to require a phone. Thank you!

    0
    mkaercher
    mkaercher

    Answer 13 days ago

    Thanks!

    We are using the Robomaster TT Tello Talent drones. They are great! We are working with Droneblocks and Drone Legends, two amazing companies. Feel free to email me for more info. (mark.kaercher@nccsk12.org)