Instead of being envious of teachers with interactive devices such as Smart Boards, I found the next best thing. I was able to use free software, a Wii Remote (Wiimote), and an infrared pen to make my own Interactive Whiteboard for about $50! I created the tutorial below so you can make your own Interactive Whiteboard yourself (probably without even consulting the your school tech).
Directions for creating your own interactive whiteboard:
Hardware you will need: A projector, Wii Remote (Wiimote), infrared pen and a computer (Mac or PC) with Bluetooth capability. Free Software Download here (download before attempting to connect to bluetooth)
Step by Step: (Based on using a Mac. PC models may have slight variations)
- Download and install software created by Johnny Chung Lee.
- Open Bluetooth on your computer (if you don’t have bluetooth, an external device can be connected)
- Next, open the back of the Wii remote (where the battery is located) and press the red button to let the computer and Wiimote “find” each other via bluetooth.
- Open software and press buttons 1 & 2 at the same time on the Wii remote (you will see a “searching” indication on the software at this time). Software script will start to show on computer – give this a minute to load all the script.
- Look for the ”searching” message to to show a battery level (blue in color) and a “not calibrated” message. Now, you are set up and ready to turn your whiteboard into an interactive whiteboard.
- Plug in your projector to your computer so that your computer projects on the wall.
- Set Wiimote on a stool, table, or taped to the projector while pointed toward the projection wall. For quick setup, you can also use tripod with an attachment to the Wiimote.
- Click “Calibrate” on your computer
- You will see an “+” in the upper left hand corner of the projected screen image.
- Use the infrared pen to click on the middle of the “+”.
- You will see a green check-mark appear (if no check-mark, then adjust the Wii Remote to a different angle and redo the calibration)
- Next check the “+” that appears in the upper right corner (continue clicking with pen to get each corner)
NOTE: You will NOT see a light with the infrared pen. (Infrared is not visible to your eye.)
At this point you should be able to interact with your computer on the wall!!!!
Trouble shooting tips:
- If you have trouble connecting to bluetooth. 1. Make sure you have downloaded software. 2. Continue to press Wiimote buttons 1 & 2 or press and hold red button located under battery cover. 3. If you don’t have bluetooth, you can use an external bluetooth.
- If software does not connect to Wiimote, be sure you have waited for all of the script (code) to load. Try hitting buttons 1 & 2 again. Keep Wiimote still and wait a minute or two for first time setup.
- If you have trouble calibrating on your whiteboard with infrared pen, try moving location of your Wiimote slightly and make sure nothing is obstructing its view.
- If you’re still having trouble, talk to your tech at school (they will probably love the challenge).
Some fun websites to try . . .
Do you have any other websites that might be useful for an Interactive Whiteboard? Please let us know in the comments area below.