Tuesday, January 5, 2010
TEAMPLAYER and Multi-Mice
I made a dozen or more pens for my students to use the wiimote iwb but there now was another problem. 1. The wiimote can not differentiate more than 1 IR Pen. 2. Once there are more than 2 students out he front the rest of the class cannot physically see the screen. The Interactive Whiteboard is really a MONOACTIVE white board.
I wanted a system that could engage more than 1 student at a time. I pressed the issue but was told by many experts that this could not happen effectively. I wanted multi-touch!! Even commercial products didn't really offer this, at least not affordably.
After trolling through dozens of sites looking for a solution I came across this website. Yes, the photos are of my class using it at the start of the year with wired mice and the quote is mine.
Wunderworks, a company based in the Netherlands very generously gave me the program for my class to trial in exchange for feedback and support with this developing technology. A very special thank you to Maarten Terpstra for all his support and advice throughout the year. The children LOVE this software. Now every student can use the board at exactly the same time. The Sandbox projects are excellent and have so much potential. I use it frequently for spelling, maths and collaborative learning. Every student is engaged 100% of the time. No one has to wait for their turn. All can interact with the shared "learnspace" without having to leave their seat.
Wht a HUGE, HUGE advantage. Simultaneous interaction with the whiteboard from their desk!!!!! Previously, so much time was WASTED as students, one at a time came out to use the board, click on the object then hand the pen to another student, return to their seat, wait for the next student to walk out the front for their turn, click and drag an object, hand the pen to the next student, return to their seat and wait for that student to walk out to the front etc etc. You can see what I mean. So slow and BORING!! And only a FEW got to have a turn in a lesson!
TeamPlayer changed ALL that. After the initial issues of setting up corded mice and testing its capabilities I wanted more!
Corded mice are very reliable and great if you can leave it set up, but classrooms are very dynamic places and desk arrangements change frequently depending on the lesson. Wireless mice are the solution. No matter what your desk configurations are, all students can access the board instantly. No cords to get tangled or trip over.
It's very important to get the right mice and hubs but I'll talk about that in another post.