Our school is considering an investment in Interwrite Boards for teachers. We have roughly five teachers who already use them, as the Interwrite Pads were in one of the rounds of laptop initiatives the teachers could sign up for. In just searching the Internet I found a price of an estimated $600. Not bad for a device that pretty much transforms your pull-down screen into a interactive white board (via the IW pad in you hand.)
One of our teachers who used one unexpectedly had to leave his job, thus turning in his laptop, projector, and Interwrite Pad. I was told I could use the Interwrite pad in the library. I have played around with it, and can definitely see the potential. The very best part of using it is that you are not tethered to your laptop, but can roam around anywhere in the room. I DETEST seeing a teacher stand at the front of the room to teach.
Our school also has one SmartBoard, and one of the new teachers (Mrs. P.) who will begin second semester has ogled it daily since she started her “workdays” before the new semester. But it was slated to be placed in a classroom already, and when they installed it today, she came to me so very disappointed. She was hoping to campaign for it since she had used one daily in her student teaching experience.
If you know me, you know exactly what I did. I went to my closet, pulled out the Interwrite pad, and said, “Try this–I think you’ll like it better.” She was confused, so I had her follow me to the nearest classroom where a teacher uses one. Our luck, Mr. C was gone to lunch, but I had a master key. So I went in, turned on his projector, picked up his pad, and handed it to her, saying one simple word — PLAY.
Suddenly Mrs. P had the vision for what this little $600 pad could offer her curriculum, and realized what a gift I had given her. She ran back to her room to install and set up the Interwrite Pad. (I love young teachers who are so enthusiastic and can load, install, setup, and work most anything hardware and software wise you give them!)
Of course I returned to Mr. C’s class to confess our “breaking and entering” since his class was returning from lunch as I left Mrs. P setting up her Interwrite Pad. He was delighted that yet another teacher has the “fire” for using the hardware in their class, and forgave me for leaving his projector on–Mr. C is a green soul who is currently trying to save the world one canvas bag at the grocery store at a time, which, I might add, is not a bad trait.)
One good deed–and now I’m out an Interwrite Pad. Here’s to hoping I get another one soon!