November 10, 2010

Woe is wiimote

Well, if you have been keeping up with the whole wiimote whiteboard saga, I figured it was time for an update.

I have the thing set up, and it actually works pretty well. Granted, this is the result of hours spent making minor adjustments to how the wiimote is positioned. I bought a ceiling mount, and while it helps keep the wiimote pointed at the right angle, it is, well, on the ceiling. I am not one for heights and I have to actually stand on a desk to position it. I have probably stepped up on a desk to position that thing about 50 times this week, and while that is the closest I've gotten to the gym, it still isn't quite working perfectly.

I never considered that I have to leave the wiimote on all the time. Also, I have to recalibrate the thing any time the projector is bumped. Finally, to top it off, I can't even hook the computer that has the interactive software to the internet. What type of interactive stuff (for lack of a better word) am I going to be doing with students on said whiteboard? All I can come up with is power points so far. I would love any suggestions.

Off to enjoy Veteran's Day eve!

2 comments:

Aaron Fowles said...

I'm glad you set up the wiimote whiteboard, but I'm sorry about your troubles.

As per activities, it depends on what kind of computer you are running. The easiest thing is to get that computer online. Why can't you do it now? Is it not near an internet jack? Could you go wireless and get online that way?

Failing that, try doing a google search for "free education software." There should be some good stuff.

Also, rather than running powerpoints, I suggest downloading a copy of Activinspire, the Promethean software of which they release a limited version for free. Also try installing Google Earth. Celestia is also good.

However, if it were me, the first priority would be getting that computer online.

As per mounting the wiimote, I glued a rubber nut onto the battery case and screw it onto a regular tripod. It gets left alone fairly well. No matter what kind of IWB you have, you'll have to calibrate if the projector gets bumped. In all honesty, it'd better to mount the projector on the ceiling than the wiimote.

I'm developing a presentation on vendor-neutral IWB activities to deliver in December. Shoot me an email and I'll send you whatever I can scrape together.

Keep it up. It may not be easy, but your students will love you for it.

Linda Dunnavant said...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I will definitely look into Activinspire, Google Earth, and Celestia. It sounds like maybe I can connect to the internet at home, download these, and then use them on my laptop at school.

I teach in a huge district, and they have a very strict internet usage policy. I can't connect my computer to the internet, because the computer isn't "safe" according to their standards. I can't mount my projector for similar reasons. I try not to dwell on what I can't do, but sometimes it is difficult!

I'm going to keep working on breaking down these barriers, and perhaps the best thing I can do is connect my projector to my school-provided desktop and download the Smoothboard software to that computer as well. According to my husband, however, this software was very difficult to download onto the laptop, so that might not even be a possibility.

I would love to hear more about your presentation. Thanks again!

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