Pretty smart: Class builds low-cost teaching technology

North Carolina’s Trinity Episcopal School might not have interactive whiteboards, but they have a middle school technology class smart enough to craft a cheap alternative, reports the Charlotte Observer. After watching a YouTube video, about a dozen boys in Josh Thornton’s class made their own interactive whiteboard with a Wii remote control, about $6 worth of Radio Shack material, and the casing from a marker. “It can do everything that a Promethium board can do, for the most part—85 percent of the functionality for 5 percent of the price,” Thornton said. Many schools spend thousands of dollars for the boards that let teachers and students use a whiteboard like a computer. Trinity, a private school with 415 K-8 students on the northeast edge of uptown Charlotte, doesn’t have any. Thornton showed his class a video by Johnny Chung Lee of Carnegie Mellon University explaining how to do make a do-it-yourself version. It’s not pretty, but it works…

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