Interactive Whiteboards on a Budget
If your school is like mine your teacher budgets have been slashed, general funds are dwindling, and classrooms are brimming with students near capacity. The thought of a interactive whiteboard just makes you shudder when you think of the cost. However, here's a simple, cost effective solution for a classroom whiteboard that helps me reach more students and actively engage them in learning.
I have been interested in using an interactive whiteboard in my classroom, but always shied away from asking for one because of the exorbitant cost for one piece of equipment. I heard about the Wiimote Whiteboard sometime last year and then was reminded by Megan Power's post here.
I began to research a few things about the Wiimote Whiteboard application, first created by Johnny Lee. In addition to a Wiimote, I learned that I needed an infrared pen. I began to scour the internet for infrared pens (after few failed attempts at trying to create a homemade one!) and found a VERY inexpensive one at http://penteractive.us/ that cost only $8! So, I set out to create an interactive board system in my classroom and have found it to be amazingly effective and low cost!
Here are the basic things that you would need to get started:
2. A desktop computer or laptop with Bluetooth capabilities (if yours doesn't have Bluetooth, you can purchase one for $8 here)
3. A Wiimote (GameStop sells a red one for $29.99 I use this one in my classroom)
4. An infrared pen (Penteractive sells one for $8)
5. A digital projector (You can find digital projectors for as low as $200)
I purchased the following extras to make the whiteboard easier to use in my classroom:
6. Wiimote ceiling bracket ($24 from Penteractive).
7. USB powered battery charger for the Wiimote ($12 from Penteractive).
8. Wiimote Versiclamp ($10 from Penteractive).
With these extra components, the Wiimote is out of the reach of being moved by accident through teacher or student movement (you'll get countless questions about whether you have a Wii or not), and the batteries in the remote will never need to be charged.