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Messages - jdkestewart

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Programmers Den / Re: Wiimote Student Respond systems
« on: January 16, 2010, 05:53:06 AM »
Hi all,

It's just come out.

Mouse Mischief Beta is NOW officially released as of today. It is much lighter on in features than its previous test version. Doesn't allow simultaneous drag and drop of objects, drawing or text / numerical input as in the you tube video above. But it will certainly get things moving in the SRS department.
Very easy to download and install.

This new version does look a lot cleaner and will be even better than the first when its full version is released in May - Hopefully.

Joe Stewart

Programmers Den / Re: Wiimote Student Respond systems
« on: January 15, 2010, 09:46:06 PM »
Hi Boonjin,
Hi all,
Programs that use multiple mice have been around for quite some time. It seems to me (without trying to sound like a conspiracy theorist) that this technology has been somewhat supressed or is only available in the developing world. Microsoft have been trialling this concept for a couple of years now - very successfully - but still haven't officially released it.

The one I referred to and have been using since mid last year can be seen here. It's called Mouse Mischief. There was supposed to be an official beta version released this month but I don't think this has happened yet.


This is when it was in its early stages and has now been improved significantly. My class now has a set of wireless mice 2.4ghz with a 15 metre range and the kids love the fact that they all have simultaneous input. They can all vote on multiple choice questions, simultaneously drag and drop objects and text, simultaneously draw or write on the screen, simultaneously input text for brainstorming sessions using on-screen keyboards and input numerical values for maths questions using the on-screen keypad. The teacher control with this program is awesome. Lessons are so quick and easy to create using powerpoint. Feedback is instant and the program keeps track of student progress.

I guess was very lucky to be given the software by the developers to trial and provide feedback of its use and success in a class in Australia!

Multipoint works (and has worked) with all Windows machines - XP, Vista and 7. I'm sure macs would too. This program uses office powerpoint, there is a mischief addin which makes the created slides interactive. You can use Microsoft Office 2003 or 2007.

I guess there is a distinction to be made with "Multitouch" and "Multi-point."

From what I have seen with this emerging technology, I believe "multitouch" refers to one user who is able to manipulate objects eg photos by using their finger gestures to resize. The Apple iphone is a perfect example. One user - 2 fingers. I say this because 2 users couldn't simultaneously resize two different images on the one screen.

Therefore, as it stands at the moment, multitouch won't allow more than one user - in its current state.

"Multipoint" is multiple mice - each with its own unique, identifiable and usable cursor. This potentially allows up to 256 simultaneous users on the one screen.

For educational purposes, this is far more attractive as it engages all students 100% of the time! It also creates an environment where children remain in their seat and interact with the whiteboard. This is great as students are now no longer physically blocking the screen or casting shadows on the board as they WAIT for their turn!

Unfortunately, the wiimote software and hardware does not support this feature or software. I still use my wiimote whiteboard ALL the time, but I also use a wireless keyboard and mouse combo to teach with. I am out the front, roving around the class, down the back etc. and still retain full control of the screen and the pace of my lessons.

My first principal gave me this advice, "A teacher on his feet is worth two in his seat." Hence the reason to go with a wireless keyboard and mouse. Now I am not stuck at my desk behind the laptop.

I understand that this is not a wimote project, and I can't see how the wiimote could be used affordably to create a multi-user interface. The mice cost about AUS$13 each. So even if you could put a wiimote in each students hand to let them vote, drag, draw etc assigning the buttons on the wiimote to do these features, it would still be many times the cost of the mice and then similar in price to commercially available SRS - none which offer the many features which MouseMischief offer. Again, Mouse Mischief was originally purely developed for educational uses in poorer or disadvantaged schools so that these students had an opportunity to be engaged using technology. BUT the educational implications and achievements for classrooms in my school has been massive. I hope it is released to the world very soon. SRS (Student Response Systems) are so important in the 21st Century classroom, but their costs at the moment are prohibitive for most schools.

Sorry for the long post and being off topic but multipoint technology and programs is readily available now.

Joe Stewart

Programmers Den / Re: Wiimote Student Respond systems
« on: January 09, 2010, 04:49:59 PM »
As this is a wiimote forum, I don't know if it is appropriate to discuss other types of Student Response Systems on this board. So at the risk of this I will. Sorry if anyone is offended. Commercially available SRS (Student Response Systems) are a good way to go in terms of involving every student and keeping them interested. They love the fact that they all have an input - AT THE SAME TIME! However, the cost of these is prohibitive to most people. There are many types out there. I've looked into each extensively and each offer a unique experience. None however offer all features that the Multi-Mice System can do. Because the children have a true real time simultaneous presence on the screen it creates a "shared learnspace" a very unique collaborative learning experience.The IWB is now THEIRS!!! I call an Interactive White Board a "Mono active White board" because it typically engages only one student or teacher at a time.
The other issue is that when you get more than one student out the front to use the board, the rest of the class physically can not see it. This is why the mouse on each students desk is the BEST way to go. They can all interact, they can all see the board, they don't have to wait for their turn, and there is no wasted time as students take turns walking out the front to do theit click, hand the pen to the next student, wait for them to walk out to drag their object etc etc. It is also so affordable as each mouse only costs about $13 each. Hook up as many as you need though usb hubs. It is basically plug and play once it is set up.
There are 3 different platforms that I use to create the ultimate FUN learning experience. A professor in Scotland who is fully in to 21st Century Learning and the pedagogy behind integrating technology into the classroom, Stephen Heppel (look him up on youtube) said, "If only we can make learning games, then we'll be there!" This system now does just that.
I'm creating a blog that explains how to do all this. I've just started it so it is pretty raw.
If you're interested pm me and I'll give you the link to the site as I don't want it fully out there just yet. I've been using a multi-mouse setup in my classroom since May. I believe that I am one of the first if not the first class in Australia to be using it. Every conference I've been to regarding IWB and associated technologies have not seen or heard of this system. A fairly bold statement but I hope to see if others are using it too.


Programmers Den / Re: Wiimote Student Respond systems
« on: January 09, 2010, 03:35:00 PM »
I have been building a Multiple Student Response System for my class using mice. A=right click, B=left click, C= Middle click, D=left and Right click etc.
Each student has a mouse with its own unique identifiable cursor with true screen presence. The are a lot of cursors on the screen but sudents seem to extraniate the others out and only "See" theirs.

They can vote on Multiple Choice questions from A to G (that's up to 7 different choices), vote on true or false questions, they can also simultaneously drag and drop objects, (the teacher can even "weight" objects so that they require 2 or more students to actually drag that object to the right place colloboratively), simultaneously draw on the screen in a variety of colours, place their individual cursor on a continuum so that the teacher and the class can guage how much they like/dislike something, enter text into their individual response sections for whole class simultaneous brainstorming, solve mathematical questions using the on-screen keypad all simultaneously. Every student is engaged 100% of the time, all interacting with the Whiteboard all from the comfort of their seat using wireless mice.
I still use my wiimote whiteboard but because this isn't related to the wiimote project I haven't posted this incredible unique feature here before. My whole class set up with 30 wireless mice and my fully operational wiimote IWB only cost AUS$600.

No student has to wait their turn, no time is wasted as students one at a time leave their seat to have a go.
Just brilliant. And the cost makes it affordable to everyone!!!

Cheers ,

Project Ideas / Re: Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: January 05, 2010, 12:28:34 AM »
Here's a cheap and fairly easy way to make a remote control for your wiimote. I've made quite a few for the local schools and my school and no problems as yet. Maybe someone can improve it further. I still use the fishing line connection method too. It's just too cheap too quick and too easy to do and works seamlessly!!


Wiimote Interactive Whiteboard / Re: Looks like a Wiimote board to me
« on: October 16, 2009, 03:35:03 PM »
Hi all,
I have used one in August at the 6th National IWB conference in Sydney. The company had a display set up. I had all my wiimote gear including my extension wand pens (which by the way are essential to any teacher). My pens worked on his system exactly the same as his pens did so the concept is identical to the wiimote. It is plug and play - but it has to positioned in front of the board plugged in to your lap top whereas the wiimote can be positioned up high out of the way so as to reduce block-out. I believe that the wiimote is better as it is wireless! We have also solved all the connection issues and accessibility issues too, so the wiimote is very quick to get up and running - less than 1 minute.

Hi teachwithtech,
If you use the rechargeable battery packs as pictured above, they will eventually die if they are being subject to a constant charge. It is a far better solution to purchase a 3 volt AC adapter and connect it to the terminals in the battery compartment or pull the wiimote apart and solder the wires directlty to the positive and negative solder spots on the circuit board.
You get a constant and reliable power supply of over 96% the entire time. I have had a wiimote connected this way permanently now for 8 months straight and no issues whatsoever.
Lately, I haven't been shutting the laptop down at the end of the teaching day so the wiimote just stays connected all week. Walk in each morning, turn on the data projector instant IWB just like the pros!

Check out this rather long post to overcome remote syncing.

I also have developed a way of connecting 3 volt door chimes to the wiimote so that both the wiimote and doorchime are powered by a single 3 volt AC adapter. You can now turn the wiimote into discovery mode with a simple press of the remote button from anywhere in the room. Costs $11 and about half an hour of modifying and simple soldering.
The fishing line is by far the simplist and the cheapest option though.

I have also developed another way to remotely put the wiimote into discovery mode. Much simpler than hooking up the wireless doorchime, much cheaper and will require no battery changes ever. It's along the same line as the fishing line concept but is electric. As soon as I meet with the Uni on the 3rd November and demonstrate, I'll post the procedures for both these concepts.

All my wiimote setups are remotely accessed. This is the only way to go especially if you want teachers to take this cheaper alternative seriously. The best thing, it still only adds a couple of extra dollars to the whole set up.

I'll keep you posted.



IR Pens / Re: "The Groove" by IRPensOnline
« on: September 26, 2009, 07:08:02 AM »
Hi Tino,
Is the Groove much different now to the one I received in March (you sent me the 2nd Generation as the 1st one I bought before this was not as reliable and you changed the type of switch) or is the rocker tip switch and pressure sensitivity the same?
The pen is excellent and well worth the money.

Thanks too David. I've constructed dozens of pens of many designs and no matter what you do, it's virtually impossibly to kill them. Dropped them, thrown them, stepped on them soldered and resoldered and melted the base etc. This is another reason to place this product above its commericial counterparts. I wouldn't like to drop some other IWB pens. If they did break, how much more expensive are they to replace than our simple IR pen. Need I say more.

IR Pens / Re: "The Groove" by IRPensOnline
« on: September 25, 2009, 04:32:17 PM »
I've been using my pen since March - nearly 7 months. WOW!!! I have put up a piece of melamine coated masonite (cost $10) to replace the OHP screen. The Groove doesn't scratch this board but the board is slowly wearing away the tip of the pen on one side - as it only works in one direction.

It is the most reliable and best pen that I have used!

How low can it go (wearing down the tip) before the led stops working?

I don't think that this would be a problem with a metal whiteboard as it would have a much smoother surface. Keep up the great work Tino.


Wiimote Interactive Whiteboard / Re: Rear projector screen
« on: July 30, 2009, 07:47:52 AM »
Here's a screen made from the cheap disposable table cloths. They are white and $2 each. I used 3 for the play. You can buy them from the "cheap" warehouse stores. They were taped and hung from the rafters of the room. and were taped to a wooden beam which lay on the floor. The data projector was placed about 3 meters behind this screen and provided all the backdrops and scenes for the play which was a humourous version of Cinderella. In the dark, it gave a huge, very clear image. Over 3 metres wide by 2 metres high. The best part, no shadow was being cast on the image. The children performed in front of this. Looked very impressive. You do need to flip / mirror the image on the data projector settings so that text is able to be read. You wouldn't want it this big for normal classroom use though.

If one tablecloth was stretched across a light wooden frame it should work. As I took this photo before the concept of the wiimote (back in 2006) I haven't tested if the IR Pen can be detected through the plastic. If not, the wiimote would need to be placed behind or to the side of the user.

Good luck,

Project Ideas / Re: Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: July 29, 2009, 08:15:59 AM »
Hi Boon Jin,
I emailed you a couple of months ago about this when I built my 1st prototype. I've refined the process, steps and tooling and therefore reduced the cost greatly. I've also been in touch with Tino and shown Ben a working prototype during a Skype session. CEO are sending me to the 6th National IWB Conference in Sydney next month - August 20-21. I was planning to take one down for Ben to present at the conference. (I'll get in touch with you soon, Ben.) It is so cool that the wiimote (thanks largely to Boon Jin's calibration software) makes this a rival for any commercial IWB product!

This conversion now gives the wiimote setup a more professional edge that has been needed for it to be taken seriously by the "Tech Police". Best part, it doesn't cost much and is easy for someone with limited soldering skills to do. If you can make a pen then you should be able to do this upgrade.

Unfortunately, being a fulltime teacher doesn't give me much spare time to pursue and implement this on a large scale so selling it doesn't appeal to me.


Project Ideas / Re: Syncing with a Permanently Mounted WiiMote
« on: July 29, 2009, 06:15:07 AM »
For about AUS$11 I have come up with a way to remotely turn on the wiimote from anywhere in the room.

The remote control for the wiimote!

Takes about half an hour to convert. I have set up 4 in the local highschool for the teachers to play with and 4 in my Primary school. This remote control renders the wiimote useless for gaming so therefore deters any student from stealing it. They are held in place on top of the ceiling mounted data projectors with silicon. Once set up, they never need touching. It is fully mains powered and never needs battery replacements.

It is the ULTIMATE set up. So easy and so affordable.

Plugin your laptop, start your bluetooth software, press the remote control button to start the sync process on the wiimote and connect.
A fully operational IWB in less than a minute and you don't have to leave your seat.


IR Pens / Re: Not launching things from start menu
« on: July 06, 2009, 05:58:08 AM »
A quick useful tip is to make everything open on a single click - like in websites. Go to Control Panel, select folder options, in the General Tab under "Click items as follows" select the first two options. Single-click to open an item and Underline icon titles consistent with my browser.
This make navigating all folders and file so much easier and quicker as everything is just one click.
Good Luck,

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