The (Mis)adventures of WiiMote Whiteboard in the Music Room

Posted on 10 March 2010 by urbanmusiceducation.org

Well, folks, I finally have a few minutes to sit and compose a blog post! It’s been a crazy past couple months with a successful performance and lots of state testing going on. Things have returned to “normal” and I can finally make music in the music room again! Lately, though, I’ve been using my new WiiMote Whiteboard for a lot on interactive activities and I thought I’d share a little bit about the perils and successes of this project.
First off, I got the WiiMote Whiteboard stuff out of a need to explore IAW’s (Interactive Whiteboards) as our building has been gathering Promethean Boards and we have lots of training with those. We hope to one day have every classroom outfitted with a Promethean Board, but lo, the days of budget cuts are upon us, and the WiiMote system seemed to be the way to go for now. I went to Amazon.com and bought a used(but new in box) wiimote for $30 and bought a nice infrared pen off of penteractive.us for $25. There are several websites and videos out there showing how to design and make your own pen for no more than $10 worth of Radio Shack parts, but I decided to splurge and let someone else do the work:) I have a nice clip mic stand that I use to mount the wiimote and downloaded the free software for the WiiMote Whiteboard and ActiveInspire from Promethean. They have a trial version and I was lucky enough later on to get a serial number to unlock the full version when our Promethean rep came by recently. You can project the WiiMote Whiteboard system on to any surface and due to lack of space in my room, I originally had it pointing to my projector screen which, due to lack of space in my room, hangs from the ceiling on the side. With the sensitivity of the WiiMote however, I kept losing calibration whenever the screen would move or swing, so I ditched that layout, rearranged my entire space, took down my Signs and Symbols wall, and now project the system on the back wall of my room. I also put up the FlipForm risers so we have a more intimate atmospere for working at the board. Everyone can see, and despite some behavior management problems on the risers, it works for now.  With everything running, now I can do so much more than project PowerPoints! My favorite site this week has been TheMusicInteractive.com where I found 8-10 FREE interactive games for use on IAW or individual computers. This has been the gem of the week with testing time going on in the room next door (can’t make noise!). I also bought 3 of the $5 apps and am using them as well. Yay!

The cons to the WiiMote Whiteboard system are twofold. First, the IR pen works with about 80% sensitivity, so clicking and dragging becomes a tedious process and writing is virtually impossible. The IR pen actually works best when held a few centimeters away from the surface instead of actually touching it and kids have a hard time with this concept. I really don’t have time to let the kids do anything interactive with the board, but it’s fun for me to be up there clicking and watch the kids ooh and ahh over my “magic pen”! The second disadvantage that I’ve noticed is that it takes a lot of patience and time to get the WiiMote calibrated and pointed in just the right angle to “see” all parts of the screen. Most of the time, time is at a premium in my school, so the 5 minutes before a class comes in just isn’t enough to get this thing working, then I will just ditch it and sit behind the laptop and use the mouse. My ideal situation would be to have a giant ACTUAL whiteboard that I could project onto so that I could write over the slides in case my WiiMote wasn’t working. It wouldn’t save, of course, but I would have the capability to use my ActiveInspire software to ‘copy’ the text when we were done.

So, more will be said in another article, but for now I’d like to know if and how others are using the WiiMote Whiteboard. If you use it, what are some favorite things you do? Favorite sites? Feel free to share a comment below and thanks for reading!

~S

PS. images coming soon!

Share

Leave a Reply

Get your own free Blogoversary button!

Snag My Blinkies!












CC & P2P






My Awards and Affiliations





Why I do what I do

Where Are You From?

Be an Advocate for Music Education!

Contact the Media

Music Education Blog Carnival!

What I’m Pinning

Follow Me on Pinterest

What I Listen To