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$80 Smartboard

Digital Whiteboard (build one for under $80)

Digital whiteboards are rapidly becoming a standard classroom tool (and on every teachers wish list).

Generally referred to by the product name --- Smartboard, this outrageously expensive but incredible piece of hardware allows teachers and students to control a computer from the front of the classroom.

However, the average cost of this tool is around $2500 --- ouch. And with the current state of our economy and cutbacks in education, who can afford this tool?
  • Answer: we all can!

  • And we can thank Johnny Lee for his $80 creative alternative. He uses an inexpensive WiiMote (Wii remote game controller) in a very creative manner.
  • This solution has 80% of the Smartboard capabilities for 3% of the cost.
Begin with Johnny's presentation (just watch the first 3 minutes).

If you're not familiar with a Smartboard, check out this short

Video Demonstrations of the WiiMote:
Required Software:
  • Smoothboard (free download)
    • Easily transforms your flat screen display (whiteboard or wall) into an interactive whiteboard with just a Wii Remote and IR Pen (infrared pen).

    • Smoothboard provides a simple interface that enables users to interact with their computer directly at the screen.

Directions on
connecting your WiiMote to a PC.

If you're install a Bluetooth (assuming one was not built-in), then you'll see a response similar to the illustration below:

Uponlaunching the Smoothboard software, you'll see the following illustration on your screen. Simply hit the 'Calibrate button', touch the 4 corners of the screen, and you're set to go.

Required Hardware:
  • Wii Remote Controller $39.95 (Amazon)

  • Infrared (IR) LED Pen (for Wiimote Interactive Whiteboard) $9.95

  • IOGear GBU421 Bluetooth $19.95 (Amazon)
    • If your computer doesn't have built-in blue tooth

Useful Resource Links:
Barry Jahn,
Mar 24, 2009, 6:29 PM
Barry Jahn,
Mar 8, 2009, 9:25 PM
Barry Jahn,
May 31, 2011, 6:19 PM