Inexpensive Interactive Whiteboards are Coming

For our graduate school coursework, Rebecca and I gave a short presentation on how the Nintendo Wii will change the future of education. Currently, school systems across the nation are paying thousands and thousands of dollars for very expensive interactive whiteboards. A quick look at the Tags used with this post will give you the names for some of the more common varieties.

What follows is the outline used in the presentation.


The Nintendo Wii and the Future of Education An Exploration of New Technologies to catalyze School Reform

  • Introduction
    • The Nintendo Wii home gaming console
    • Statistics from vgchartz.com showing market penetration
    • Demonstration with Volunteers
  • Educational Uses Now
    • Physical Education
    • YMCA
  • HOPSports – The future of kid’s fitness?
  • Wii Remote Projects with Johnny Chung Lee
    • Web Site: www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/
    • “Tracking Your Fingers with the Wiimote” Video (4:08)
    • “Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the Wii Remote” Video (4:46)
    • “Low-Cost Multi-point Interactive Whiteboards Using the Wiimote” Video (4:04)
  • Conclusion

It’s only a matter of time before someone takes advantage of Johnny Chung Lee’s software to produce a very inexpensive interactive whiteboard. In fact, you can do this yourself if you are so technically inclined. The Wiimote costs around $40 US, the pen is cheap too, and the software is freely available. Compare that cost to the thousands of dollars companies are currently charging for these displays and you can quickly see why they are marketing their products so heavily. They know that the technology is changing and they have a limited amount of time to turn a profit.

So, what is my advice for a company, organization, or school system interested in purchasing this technology? Wait. If you must have this functionality now in order to stay competitive then don’t invest your money in the expensive wall displays. The smaller hand-held pads and tablets give arguably similar experiences at a fraction of the cost. My own school system uses InterWrite Pads extensively with a few Smartboards here and there.

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2 responses to “Inexpensive Interactive Whiteboards are Coming

  1. I want share with you a free program to be used with interactive whiteboard
    http://code.google.com/p/ardesia/

    Ardesia enables you to make colored free-hand annotations on your computer screen, record it and share on the network.

    This is especially useful when making presentations, to highlight things or point out things of interest.

    The tool facilitates the online presentations and demos showing in real time your computer screen to anyone in the network.

    Ardesia is XInput-Aware, so if you have a mouse, a graphic tablet, a touch screen, a wiimote whiteboard or a commercial whiteboard; you can draw lines with different strength, select color, erase things and draw arrows.

    You can free-hand draw geometrical shapes using the shape recognizer, insert text with the keyboard and highlight screen areas. You can draw upon the desktop or select an image as background.

  2. Ardesia 0.4 is out!
    http://code.google.com/p/ardesia/

    Ardesia allows to draw and sketchup everywhere

    The binary package is released for Ubuntu Lucid and Windows 7
    you can use Ardesia with all the linux flavours, the source code
    is free and released under the GPL terms

    You can use it with a wiimote whiteboard or a graphic tablet;
    in this way the lines are writing lighter or darker depending on
    the pen pressure

    You can export your work in the pdf format to create simple presentation, tutorial or document

    Ardesia allow to record and the stream on icecast streaming server
    thanks to the vlc media player and streamer

    …Ardesia is free and simple as you are; Try it now!

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