Due to the internet issues at NETA on Friday (see previous post), my students and I didn’t get to show some of the helpful sites we use in my room. Most of these I’ve written about before, and many of them appear on 21 tech – the site created by one of my students for the presentation. Nevertheless, we didn’t get much of an opportunity to explain some of these to our audience. I’ve been fielding some questions from attendees about a couple things, so I thought I’d share an email response I wrote to one attendee in regards to wireless slates.
As for the wireless slate, you can get the one I have from Amazon (Wacom Graphire 6 x 8 ) for $192.Â This is in contrast to the ones vendors were selling at NETA for $350 – $500. Â With 2nd graders it may be a little challenging for them to use the pen since it requires some fine motor skills.Â If you want to stick with a tablet (for yourself), the Wacom does come with a mouse that is very easy for any age to use.Â It’s pretty fun to wander the room and then set it on a student’s desk and let them take control for a bit.
An even cheaper solution is to just get a wireless mouse.Â You can get these for as little as $20.Â A keyboard and mouse combo goes for about $45, which gives you even more freedom to teach from anywhere in the room.Â I have a bluetooth keyboard and I think my students like using the keyboard more than they do the mouse.
Here a couple of fun things to use with the wiiboard or just the tablet:
BBC Bitesize Games – Find your subject and topic area and get a game that you can embed on a website or blog.Â Many of the games are very conducive to the wiiboard.
Imagination Cubed – This is a drawing program that allows multiple users from different computers (or just by yourself).Â It doesn’t work quite as well with the wiiboard, but once you’ve completed a drawing you can email it to yourself or have students email their drawing to you.Â Once you open the link you’ll see their drawing unfold.Â Click here for an example from one of my 6th graders.
Sketchcast – This is similar to imagination cubed, but allows you to embed your finished product and add voice.Â It’s not the easiest with the wiiboard, but perfect for the wireless slate.Â I use it for math problems.Â The voiceover option hasn’t worked the last few times I’ve tried it and the site only recently opened back up after about a 10 month absence.
For drawing on the wiiboard, you can’t beat Kindlelab.