I'm starting this post with Beach Boys music in my head and picturing a white longboard cresting over some waves out in California. There are a few problems with that though. I don't really like Beach Boys music, Cali water is way too cold for me, and the interactive whiteboard (IWB) resources I'm writing about are actually from the UK and not Cali. (Apologies given to my California friends.)
I was reading the daily list of Diigo posts I get and saw a link for free whiteboard software. I'm not an IWB king and don't see them used with great efficiency in most places, but this link had me intrigued. A website (http://getwordwall.com) was giving away their IWB software for free until Christmas. I downloaded it only to find it was for UK teachers. My Pappy always said that it doesn't hurt to ask, so I emailed them. Within two days, they responded twice, the last time announcing a product update that allowed for US installs!
Wordwall 3 is an easy install on your Windows-based pc. (Alas, no Mac version.) The activities were easy to create and very quick. Almost any teacher would be able to get started with little support.
The publishers are giving the software away for FREE until Christmas. Just download it from http://getwordwall.com and use the product code NOVDEC12 . Then you will have a free and fully-functioning product.
The kicker for me was that the publishers opened up the installs to the US by saying, "We'll do that if you just share with as many people as possible." So, please pass the word. The software at retail price is not cheap and this is a fantastic deal. If you have been waiting for that big wave to ride, this is it!! Start paddling and get to the software.
Some of my friends also found the announcement on another UK site, http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk . I hadn't seen that one before and have already found a good many instructional ideas for integrating the IWB into the classroom.
What? You don't have an expensive hardware device that receives touch-based inputs? Then, just use it on your Windows computer. The mouse will do the same thing as an interactive device. Project your laptop or desktop onto a wall for the visual, but have students use a mouse. Heck, splurge and get a wireless mouse and place the students closer to the board! You got the software for free, so tell the principal to pony up for a mouse! (Principal friends, don't shoot me. But that really would be money well-spent in this case.)
Please, leave a comment on how you use IWBs or IWB software in the classroom. What has been your success?