Wiimote in my classrooms?

Nintendo Wii Remote, sometimes nicknamed “Wiimote”, is the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console. A main feature of the Wii Remote is its motion sensing capability, which allows the user to interact with and manipulate items on screen via movement and pointing. A familiar ‘toy’ in many families, the wii has now entered the classrooms at St Josephs College!

Building sophisticated educational tools out of cheap parts, Johnny Lee demonstrated his cool Wii Remote hacks at the prestigious TED Talks – the key global innovation forum in the world.  In this he demonstrates how to turn a cheap video game controller into a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3-D viewer.  Teachers and students around the world have downloaded Johnny’s free software to create interactive tools for their classroom.

Recently Anthony, our e-learning integrator,  took this idea and made an interface out of a simple IR pen and a Wiimote that is capable of turning any data projector into an interactive whiteboard irrespective of the surface that is used. Anthony claims that this simple setup costing less than $100 installed coupled with the free Smoothboard software has the potential to be one of the most exciting innovations for some time.
A number of staff have been trialling the Smoothboard with early results being very promising.

Students in Gary’s science classes have been running interactive lessons using learning objects developed by the Learning Federation.  When Fergus, our Head of Social Sciences, saw the demo in Gary’s class, he requested a pen and wiimote immediately and now eagerly awaits delivery!

After hearing that we would be demonstrating this technology in the staff room,  said

I’d better get mine organised quickly, before a rush from other staff. The flexibility makes this the perfect solution for my classrooms.

My mission is to keep an eye on this exciting experimentation – we’re grabbing video clips of the action. Meanwhile watch the TED talk about this Wiimote revolution.