Last summer I wrote a post about a n IWB that costs just €50 that the technology guru / geek Johnny Lee had invented using an infra-red pen and a Wii remote. I was really excited about it thinking that maybe this could help many more schools get IWB technology into the class.

I made myself the €50 IWB, I tried it out a few times last summer and I must admit the results were not all that encouraging. I didn’t think much more of it until recently when I “met” a guy called Chris Hill (thanks to my friend Enza via Twitter). Chris is a big evangelist of the Wii remote IWB. This started getting me interested again in the project. I’ve been looking again at my Wii console think “Should I drag you back to the classroom? The answer now, I think is, yes, I will.

My desire to try out the Wiimote IWB again is because Chris has written a handy and comprehensive FAQ on the Wii IWB drawing on his experiences and sharing solutions to the niggly little problems teachers might find when trying to set up their own Wii IWB. Here’s a quick snippet of his post:

How much does it cost? / Is it really only $50?
The controller for the Nintendo Wii is for sale throughout the United States for $40. [It costs about €50 in Europe – Seth] You can build an infrared pen for $5-6.  The software is free to download.  The cost of the computer, projector, and Bluetooth adapter (if your computer does not have built-in Bluetooth) are not included in the $50.

I can’t make my own infrared pen.  Can I buy one?
Absolutely.  Do a Google search and you will find several options starting as low as $6.

Do I have to modify the Wiimote? / Can I still use it with my Wii?
No / Yes.  The Wiimote connects to the computer via Bluetooth, the same way it connects to the Wii.  You don’t have to open the Wiimote, break it, or reprogram it.  So, if you (or your kids) have a Wii, you can use the equipment you already have for both purposes.

How do I get started?
Download the free software (Mac version or PC version), build an infrared pen (see my demo) or buy one online, connect to the Wiimote via Bluetooth (open your Bluetooth devices, push the 1 and 2 buttons on the Wiimote, add the device) , run the software, calibrate it (push the “calibrate button,” click on the targets), and you are done.

And Chris has loads of other great advice in his post as well as elsewhere in his blog. Definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in trying out the Wiimote white board!

All the best,

Seth

Wiimote Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yerahg/551627536/