Remember Johnny Lee's how-to last year, on how to make a whiteboard out of a Wiimote? Kofi Merritt, a computer resource specialist, challenged the members of the LEGO Club at the Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School to follow the Carnegie-Mellon Ph.D student's video instructions and make themselves an interactive whiteboard, saving their school around US$800 in the process.
"I thought to myself, 'This project is too cool not to share, and it can be a student-created tool created for instructional purposes,'" Merritt said. "I thought, 'This would be a great way to engage the students in a unique way, as well as put pressure on interactive whiteboard companies to lower their prices.'"
Merritt and his volunteers, four fifth-graders and a parent volunteer who is an electrician (and who helps out in the LEGO Club) took about a month to finish the project. The kids are thrilled with their achievement. "It feels great to help the school like this, said student Austin Durham, 10. I never felt great. It took about a month because we had to figure out the right parts to use. We messed up a lot at first."
As well as saving the school a whole bunch of cash, the project has given the kids a lot of confidence, as well as a fun experience—something they all appreciate. "I think the most important thing that the students enjoyed and learned was to be innovative," adds Merritt. "As part of the 'digital native' generation, they can recognise things in their world that they can improve or create, and have the confidence to tackle projects that many 'digital immigrants' wouldn't touch. This is a new generation. They must be engaged in their world with the tools of their time." [Daily Press via Gaming Today]