[K12OSN] New SmartBoard and Edubuntu...I'm truly impressed!

Sonja Gonzalez sgonzalez at sau83.org
Fri Feb 8 15:19:06 UTC 2008

We have one SmartBoard and the teacher that uses it swears by it. The functionality is so much more than a white board, and the collaboration that she gets with her students is huge. 

Dave, I applaud your success in getting these budgeted. I am not as successful so I'm looking at the Wiimote project. If you don't know what it is, here's a link: 


Does anyone know if there's been any success at porting it to Linux? And has anyone compared its functionality to the SmartBoard's? I saw this YouTube video by a consultant 


who assessed the difference but I don't know if he's tried all the extras that SmartBoard offers in the form of software and lesson plans. 

I'm still having trouble getting the Wiimote to connect via bluetooth (to Windows) so I haven't actually gotten one working, but if I do, it promises an interactive whiteboard for about $50 (assuming you have the computer and projector already.) 

Interested in any thoughts on this. 


Sonja Gonzalez 
Director of Technology 
Ellis School 
432 Main Street 
Fremont, NH 03044 
603.895.2511 x603 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "jones yeates" <jones_yeates at hotmail.com> 
To: "Support list for open source software in schools." <k12osn at redhat.com> 
Sent: Friday, February 8, 2008 10:04:09 AM (GMT-0500) America/New_York 
Subject: RE: [K12OSN] New SmartBoard and Edubuntu...I'm truly impressed! 

I have a SmartBoard in my classroom. I'm glad to hear that I can now use it with Linux. Currently its broken, so I can't but I did find it very useful when I taught lessons in Windows. However students at the back of the room had problems seeing the board. Now that I use fl_teachertool that's no longer a problem and I try to use Linux as much as possible because of fl_teachertool (along with many other reasons). 

> Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 08:51:52 -0600 
> From: pwelte at nashville-k12.org 
> To: k12osn at redhat.com 
> Subject: Re: [K12OSN] New SmartBoard and Edubuntu...I'm truly impressed! 
> If the SmartBoard is simply being used as the display surface for a 
> projector, then I agree with your comments. However, the Smartboard 
> provides soooo much more. There is an unlimited number of ways to use a 
> SmartBoard to foster a sense of enthusiasm and engagement that does not 
> normally occur. The Smarttech website has an entire area devoted to 
> creating lesson plans and projects. 
> When used properly, especially at the grade school level, a SmartBoard 
> system provides a huge level of engagement with a small amount of 
> order/distraction. A group of students gathered around a SmartBoard and 
> actively identifying the subject matter by pointing to and touching the 
> board has increased participation and excitement with the subject 
> material. When used properly, these devices foster at least the same 
> amount of active participation as a thin client and they don't require 
> as much support or space. 
> James P. Kinney III wrote: 
> > I have yet to see anything done with a smartboard benefiting the 
> > educational process that can't be done more broadly and actively with 
> > Linux thin clients and a collaborative workspace like fl_teachertool. 
> > 
> > 
> > The money spent on a smartboard buys an activity for a single person at 
> > a time while the others sit passively. This is the same failure mode 
> > that was in place with filmstrips, movies and EDU TV. The technology is 
> > changing but the practice is nearly identical. The streaming video junk 
> > from UnitedStreaming is just filmstrips done on a more expensive player 
> > (that school can't keep due to licensing <gag!>). 
> > 
> > For the same cost of a single smartboard, multiple Linux thin clients 
> > can be installed in the classroom. Imagine the learning that can happen 
> > when students can actively participate in doing things instead of being 
> > a passive observer. 
> > 
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