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I want one of these…

I’ve been thinking about my use of my whiteboard and projector.

At Olchfa we chose to make an investment in projectors instead of interactive whiteboards, because we felt that a great deal of what could be done with an intereactive whiteboard could be done with a projector and we could kit out almost three classrooms with projectors for everyone one IWB.

Recently I’ve been making much more use of my whiteboard in the old fashioned sense – I write on it! The advantage is that we (as a class) can produce something that emerges directly from our thinking and discussion, rather than having that discussion and me projecting something that I prepared before that invariable doesn’t quite match, and as a result slightly disrupts the learning. This seems to support learning much more effectively than the ‘pre-prepared’ model

The disadvantages to this are two fold.

The first is that I can’t save them, although I’ve been getting around this by taking photos of the board with the camera on my phone and bluetoothing them to my laptop if I need to show them again.

The second is that my handwriting is awful at the best of times, and gets worse if I’m trying to keep up with ideas flying around my room. I’ve tried using students, but they tend to need even more time to grab the ideas than I do, so we’re left decyhering my writing for the rest of the lesson.

An IWB would solve the first problem, but not the second. If anything, my writing is even harder to read on an IWB, and I’ve heard some horror stories about the software that works out what you’ve written and converts it into ‘typed’ text.

So I want a device that looks like an ipod touch that links directly with my laptop and projector. I can use it to draw, and add text to the board which is easy to read (cause it’s typed, not handwritten) and interact with whatever’s there. It’s mobile, so I wander around my room with it, rather than being fixed to a keyboard and mouse, and it’s quick, ’cause I’m used to texting.

If someone could invent one and let me have one that would be great. Thanks!

Dave Stacey

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