If you’ve been following me on Twitter this week you would have heard my ravings about creating an Interactive Whiteboard using a Nintendo Wii remote. As you may also be aware our school recently purchased a Nintendo Wii, which gave me the perfect opportunityto test out this exciting concept. To make this happen you will also need a projector and a Bluetooth enabled computer or laptop. To put it simply this is how you go about setting it up;
1. Connect your Nintendo Wii REMOTE to your computer using bluetooth (You don’t need the entire system, just the remote). (How do you do this?)
2. Connect your computer to a projector as you normally would.
3. Position the Nintedo Wii so that it can see the surface you are projecting onto (the Wii remote can see at an angle of 45 deg. The Wii remote will pick up the infra red pen even if its off to the side)
4. Run Johnny Lees free calibration software which can be download from here
5. Using an Infrared pen, which can be made or purchased for around $5
6. Calibrate the board by touching the dots on screen with your infra red pen
7. You now have an interactive whiteboard ready for use
Now the most exciting thing is that the Nintendo wii remote is multiple touch, so unlike your commercial interactive whiteboards that can only detect one pen, the wii can detect up to 4 pens at the same time. The wiimote can also be projected onto any surface so no longer are you bound to the front of the room as per the traditional expensive alternatives. Why not project your image from a tripod onto a white table top and you can then have a fully interactive table for up to 4 students. Why not project it onto someones white t-shirt and teach an anatomy lesson highlighting and colouring in the different body components. The possibilities are almost endless.
You can also download other 3rd party software such as annotateprothat will give you the same features as a commercial whiteboard. Now im sure with the amount of publicity this alternative is receiving it wont be long until an entire software package exists for the wiiremote. So how can you use it within your classroom? Well a very helpful youtube video will give you some ideas on how to integrate this cost saving tool into your classroom to improve student learning[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ttDMLxTV824&feature=related]
What a perfect addition to our school this has been, not only is it a great educational tool but the cost saving alternative is excellent for schools with tight budgets. You can grab a few more resources and tutorials at my jog the web Nintendo in school’s track.