Saturday, December 29, 2007

tt4t_018 Nintendo Wii with an educational twist

It’s Saturday, December 29, 2007 and welcome to Episode 18 of Tech Talk 4 Teachers, I’m Tom Grissom. Christmas has come and gone and at my house I am happy to report that Santa Claus found us and left our family a Nintendo Wii Game Console as a present. All I can say is what a cool interface! What separates the Nintendo Wii from other gaming systems is its highly interactive interface that features the Nintendo Wii remote and “nunchucks” both with motion sensing technologies. Nintendo has expanded the gaming market by developing a more natural game interface that young and old alike can easily use.

Download MP3

Tom’s Technology Pick of the Week

My Technology pick of the week this week is the Nintendo Wii. OK, so what does this have to do with education? More than what you might imagine. I believe the interactive interface of the Wii has many applications for education. Trying to keep students attention in the classroom in this day and age is quite a challenge. If students are not paying attention and attending to lessons in the classroom then no learning is taking place. As teachers we need to find methods that actively engage our students in the lesson. To that end we have a lot to learn from gaming vendors. One of the nice things about a few days off is that you have a little extra time to do some research in some areas that you might not normally investigate. While searching for educational uses of the Wii I ran across a site that I believe has the possibility of changing the computer to human interface with a Wii like controller that has educational applications. I have provided a link to Johhny Chung Lee’s website in the show notes that contains several YouTube video demonstrations using the Wii remote to produce a low cost multi-touch interactive whiteboard.

Johnny Chung Lee’s Video Demos of Wii Remote interface

Do me a favor and visit the show notes for episode 18 of Tech Talk 4 Teachers and click on the provided link to watch the video demos. I promise you it will be worth your effort. This interactive interface has tremendous possibilities for education and best of all the price point is becoming affordable for the average classroom. I was formerly a high school chemistry and physics teacher and I know that some of you out there are also interested in educational uses of this technology. Imagine being able to place yourself in a test tube where you can view the molecules of a chemical reaction. If anyone has conducted any experiments similar to Johnny Lee please let me know what you develop so we can share with others. While virtual reality has been around for a number of years it is finally becoming affordable for classroom use.

Show notes for Episode 18 and previous episodes are available on the web at that’s techtalk the number 4 If you have a comment or suggestion for a future show or a suggestion for a Technology Pick of the Week then please email me at That wraps it up for this episode of TechTalk4Teachers so until next time this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning.

No comments: