Affordable interactive white board technology for every school sounds a bit Utopian, don’t you think? I recently found out that maybe it’s more realistic than you might have guessed! I know that pretty soon I’m going to have to tone down my enthusiastic introductions, but I literally applauded the computer screen (like a weirdo) when I saw this.

After recently having spent more than €4000 at our language school on a brand new commercially produced IWB, youIWB for Under €50 -video can imagine that I was just a bit surprised when reading Joe Dale’s blog about a school in Ireland who had managed to make one for under €50. “Rubbish,” I thought to myself. I thought wrong. The Inver National school in Ireland even have a blog to show you the how-to-dos of the whole process.

From searching through the Inver National’s video of the whole process, I found out that it’s the brain-child of Johnny Lee, a veritable genius of affordable and accessible interactive technology. It was at this point that I started clapping :-)

Essentially it’s a very simple idea, which has been turned to good use. Simple ideas are always the best, don’t you think? The €50 IWB uses a Wiimote- the remote control from a Nintendo Wii, which costs €40 from my local supermarket, and an infra-red pen.

The Wiimote contains an infra-red sensor which can track the movement of an infra red light source. Johnny connected his Wiimote to a computer using Bluetooth and with a little bit of programming magic, he came up with some free IWB software to make it all work together. Incredible!

Here is his video on how to setup the IWB:

So I don’t think you need me to tell you how much this could benefit schools in countries where the economy is still developing, but from looking at this, I’d say that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of schools worldwide have now got IWBs within their price range. That has got to be a good thing, don’t you reckon?

I’ll definitely be trying this out with our school and I’ll be sure to write about it here too. If you want to try it out, watch this space and I’ll let you know how I get on. Send me a comment if you fancy trying to work together on making a Wii IWB, Two minds are definitely better than one!