Hazelwood West Middle School Science Teacher Creates His Own Interactive Whiteboard
Using a video projector, a laptop computer, a Bluetooth connection and an infrared remote control, Hazelwood West Middle School science teacher Chris Link created his own interactive whiteboard.
“I was watching videos on TED.com and those led me to other videos that showed how to make your own Promethean Board,” Link said.
TED.com is a non-profit website dedicated to technology, entertainment and design. It features presentation videos given by a variety of people on these subjects. Link, who teaches seventh-grade students, said he spent less than $50 to create an alternative to Promethean’s interactive white boards, which are common in the Hazelwood School District.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, collectively called STEM, are reasons to push this kind of technology, Link said. He added that spillover benefits include modeling better computer skills.
“When they get to develop something like this, that’s a big STEM integration project in class,” Link said. “Since having this in class, students have become more efficient at using computers because it allows me to model how to navigate through a computer and through websites.”
Prospective users must download free software, which calibrates the location and Link sets the boundaries by clicking an infrared light pen where he chooses. The device uses the Wii game system remote control, which has an infrared camera. The camera in the Wiimote receives and interprets the infrared light which is emitted from the stylus. The Wiimote transmits that data to the computer software via Bluetooth connection.
To view Link’s science web page, go to http://sites.google.com/site/mrlinkscience/.