We Love Interactive WhiteBoards but a Wii IWB??

SMARTBoard workshops

Wii Remote

Ok…I was curious.  I have seen the YouTube video of Johnny Lee.  I have had a SMARTBoard in my classroom for 4 years.  I know about school budget crunches.  All three of those reasons combined led Mom and me to attend  a session at the East Central IL Tech Conference on Friday entitled “Interactive Whiteboard (aka “SMARTBoard”) for <$100″.

It seems like this $100 Wii IWB thing is really starting to become a reality.  There are quite a few places online where you can purchase the light pens, as well as accessories for the Wii Remote to make it stand on a tripod as a functional piece of classroom equipment.  Software is available as a free download to get your computer compatible with the hardware.

Any surface can be transformed into an IWB. 
Even a table top. 
And with Multi-touch capabilities if you have more than one light pen. 
Wow…the opportunity to have a multi-touch table in my classroom in 2009?

Well…I have to admit.  I was less than thrilled with the functionality of the Wii IWB as a suitable means within a classroom. 
Sure, it would work….if you were using your IWB as a game board, or to write and wipe. 
But I think there are many folks who are beyond the “glorified whiteboard” idea.  At least we hope they are.  And if they aren’t?  Well, we can certainly help with that!

We have a multitude of ways that the SMARTBoard can be used within the educational setting from small individualized center activities, to whole group lessons, to alternative assessment tools, to differentiated instruction. 

I could never go back to teaching without my board.  Ever!

Presentation Squats


Yesterday Shannon and I presented at the 2009 East Central Illinois Technology Conference at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois. We always enjoy this conference since this is one opportunity to see many of the new friends we have made through our workshops, as well as visit with many friends from the past to catch up on family, and to share pictures on our cell phones.

Our last session was also the final session of the day. 
The room was packed and I even gave away my chair for someone to use.
This was one of our favorite presentations requiring two computers, two sets of speakers, and two projectors. The biggest challenge of the hour:

maintaining internet access.

Shannon carries the delivery. She talks much faster than I do, and she is excellent at voice projection. (I understand these things. I had her in my 7th grade study hall once.)

My job was to show as many links as possible, and to throw in comments when she needed to take a breath.  I was down on my knees or squatting most of the time since my computer was on a low table, and the room was dark.

And then the question about…

inappropriate use of computers…and the expressed concern about students going where they shouldn’t go.

This had my attention and both Shannon and I flew to reply,
“Teachers are the best filters.” 
I have never stood up so fast in my life.
I almost flew over the table.
If I could have moved out into the audience and stood next to her “face-to-face”, I would have.
I held myself back from saying,
“Teachers need to quit grading papers when they take their students to the lab.”

We are passionate on this subject. We actually did a “Guest Post” on a famous blog.
And people left comments!

Our goal is to motivate teachers to use technology.

The schools are asking us to use technology.

The schools want us to use 21st Century tools.squats2

But the schools don’t always give us those tools.

Or allow us to use those tools.

And when they do, either because they haven’t noticed that we are using them, or because they have finally seen the value, we need to teach responsibly.
We need to monitor our students…
and we need to educate ourselves.


I’m a little sore…
Squats in heels are a little rough on the quads!