So for beginners why a Wii White Board:
For those of you who have been following my blog for the last few months are probably sick of this, but once again I'm looking at the Wiimote Board. IWBs are the future of the modern classroom, if you like it or not. I'm not saying that you are going to use it every minute of you class, but as more and more edtech tools roll out teachers are going to look for a way to use these tools and not sit behind a desk for part of a lesson. This is where IWBs come in, and specifically the Wiimote Board. Why the Wiimote Board? Because I feel that all other IWBs are just way to freaking expensive! As far as TPACK is concerned IWBs can be used in every single subject area, with a more beneficial use in the math, science and social sciences. The basic concept of the Wiimote board is that you use inferred cameras that are in the Wiimote to track an inferred light that is hidden in a pen that you have built or bought. The Wiimotes are then synced to you computer via bluetooth and the Wiimote program (look at my old posts to find the downloads). Old Post
- Pedagogy knowledge (Pk): Diversity is the key to success with teaching, every student learns in a different way. Some students are visual learners some are note takers, and others are just listeners. The key to being a good teacher is the make lesson plans and use tools that incorporate areas that will cover all learning styles.
- Technology knowledge (Tk): Using the Wiimote board is not that demanding on technology skills, but building one can be a little difficult (I suggest buying the pens and save yourself some stress).
- Content Knowledge (Ck): depending on the application IWBs can be used for many applications. For Math you could use powerful tools like geometers sketch pad, to teach geometry to your students.
- Pk and Tk over lap: in lesson planning, when you are making your lesson plan you need to know when is to much? Is this technology going to aid my lesson by using it in a certain way.
- Tk and Ck: Have an overlap before you even do a lesson plan, when you're in the pre-planning stage. You need to know what the technology can do and does this apply to the content that I'm going to teach.
- Pk and Ck: These two overlap when giving your lesson, are you delivering the appropriate content to the class so that they are presented with the correct material.
Where to find Wii Board parts:
A few months ago I wrote about how you can use a wiimote, your bluetooth, and an IR pen to make an IWB. Well after testing I found that their can be a few problems; 1) if you bump the remote your orientation is shot, and (2) you are going to eat through a lot of batteries. So I search the internet for a while and found a nice company that make mounting and power solutions for the wiimote. So I asked them to send me some of their products to test out, and I can honestly say that I an a fan. Their products are extremely heavy duty (probably over kill for a wiimote), but do the job extremely well. For mounting they sent me an arm that clips to a dropped ceiling or screws into walls, and for power I received an AC adapter and plate that not only replaces the batteries, but provides a mount point for the wiimote. Also included in the kit is a sync adapter that puts the remote into sync mode when power is applied, so that you don't have to climb a ladder to do it yourself. Their are several other companies out there, but none that will offer a better solution for the classroom so check out yIR Inc. for all your wii IWB solutions.
How to Build:
I have also dedicated a page on the site on how to build the Wiimote IWB. Feel free to stop by and check out how it is done. Included in the instructions are links to the yIR inc.. site, and some amazon links to find even cheaper solutions. As always feel free to drop me a comment and let me know how you classroom is evolving.
Matt (Now also know as Mr. Gillett)