This week, I tried out an “Interactive Xi Bar”Â that the folks at Mimio loaned me. I really liked it.
A few months ago I learned about this unique approach to turning aÂ regular white boardÂ into an Interactive White Board. The Mimio Bar is easy to use and highly portableÂ – it clips on to a white board or attaches via suction cups, and after a quick calibration, it's ready to go!
The Mimio can even be used to turn a plain blank wall into a white board. I did this at home by putting some scotch tape on the wall for the suction cups to adhere to, and my kidsÂ and I had a lot of fun using the Mimio and tryingÂ different functions.
I tried out a test unit that was graciously sent to me by Mimio's promotion team, and it took me all of about 15 minutes to unpack the device, install the software, and walk through the simple set up explained in the nice little “getting started” pamphlet. It took me a little extra time to figure out how some of the menu items worked, but considering that I didn't read anything, it was really quite easy to use.
One thing that I was impressed with was the ease and accuracy with which the stylus picked up my motions. I've tried other devices that seemed to get in their own way. It seems that theÂ shadow cast by the hand and pen made it very difficult for those other systems to interpret where the user ‘clicked' on the board. This didn't happen with the Mimio bar.
Features & Functions
Some of theÂ features of the Mimio board include the following:
- Far less expensive than full white boardsÂ (for example, the Mimio Xi Bar is currently selling for $549 on touchboards.com).
- Portable – The Mimio adheres to a whiteboard with suction cups, or can be attached longer term with snap-on plastic brackets.
- Ease of use (see above for more on that).
- Few (or no) wires – The only cable you need is the USB connector, but youÂ actually don't Â even need that if you use the included wireless connector.
- Great, full featured software – the Mimio Studio software let you doÂ the things I've seen other white board apps do including things like draw shapes, highlight in different colors, group what you've drawn so it can be moved or rotated, ‘reveal' (hide part of the screen then reveal it when you're ready), record your white board sessions for later playback, take snapshots, and so on (aÂ handwriting recognition function would be a cool enhancement).
- A nice add-on pack that lets you use dry eraseÂ markers onÂ a regular white board and have the whole session recorded in the applicable colors.
Of course, using this technology requires a computer and a projector, so it is assumed you have those if you intend to use a Mimio bar.
I've embedded a YouTube demonstration videoÂ below (the resolution isn't great, butÂ it's more than adequate forÂ providing a good sense of how to setÂ it up and use it, and what it can do).Â
Obviously, the portability of this device is outstanding. If you want your instructorsÂ to try out interactive white board technology without having to invest in expensive SMART Boards or even some of the less costly alternatives, this is the lowest costÂ IWB technology I've come across, and can very easilyÂ be moved from one room to another. In fact, if you have a department thatÂ manages resources like this, you may be able to get a lot of functionality by buying a few of these devices and sharingÂ themÂ as needed.
If you're interested in interactive white board technology and don't want to spend a lot for new white boards for the classroom, you can hardly go wrong with a Mimio bar.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
6 Free Online Interactive White Boards
Learning about Interactive Whiteboards for the Classroom
PolyVision Ä“no whiteboards: A great alternative to the SMART Board
9 insightful videos about using SMART Boards in the Classroom
Prometheanâ€™s Interactive Whiteboard and related instructional products
We are the original OEM factory to manufacture interactive whiteboard & all-in-one interactive touch screen display. If anyone required, please contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you hear of gloview interactive whiteboard portable?
[…] Â Â Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out): Taking Mimioâ€™s low-cost, portable Interactive White Board device for a test run 6 Free Online Interactive White Boards Learning about Interactive Whiteboards for the Classroom […]
Thanks, Bill, for taking the time to comment and share your knowledge! I haven’t seen the Espon Brightlink yet, although I did try similar technology from InFocus and was sorely disappointed. The technology they used functioned inconsistently – the pen often failed to pick up the user’s actions on the display. It appeared that there has to be a clear ‘line of sight’ between the pen and the projector in order for it to work, and when a presenter’s body came between the projector and the pen, connectivity was lost. Hopefully Epson’s overcome or avoided that issue – the concept itself (building the functionality directly into the projector) is great.
Have you checked out Epson’s interactive projector call the Brightlink http://www.epsonbrightlink.webengager.com/Education/ The brains are in the projector so it’s another route to avoid the costly IWB. In October there will be a Brightlink Solo that makes existing projectors interactive.
What Can A Webinar Software Application Do For You?…
I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…
Hey Clayn –
Thanks for the comment about the Mobi line. I actually did a post involving this earlier this year when I ran a little contest about uses of Ed Tech, but I haven’t really checked it out yet (of course, when a vendor sends you a demo it makes testing a product possible, which is a lot more informative than learning about it second hand). Anyway, the Mobi and related tools from eInstruction are on my blogging to do list! Thanks again.
If you are looking for portable, low cost IWBs, you might also want to look into eInstruction’s Mobi line. Rather than having a board, or device, that you hang on the wall, the Mobi acts as a tablet that you can take with you around the classroom. It also allows for more than 1 Mobi to be used in the same classroom. At a cost of 350-400, it is still cheaper than the device you described above, integrates all the features you mentioned (with the addition of the handwriting recognition you requested…) and is fully interactive with clicker technology to boot. We had a product demo at our campus about a month ago and I have been playing with the free device they left with us since then. Wow!
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kelly Walsh, Monte Tatom. Monte Tatom said: RT @EmergingEdTech: Taking the low cost, very portable Mimio interactive white board bar for a test run: http://bit.ly/djhFkw #fhuedu642 […]
Great point Jonathan – Mimio does have a community site at mimioconnect.com where they offer lesson plans and activities, but I really can’t speak knowledgeably to how it compares to what SMART Technologies has to offer.
By the way, I hope I don’t come across as anti-SMART Board – I think all IWBs are pretty cool and each has their right place (but I do think too many schools have over spent on this technology without really doing their homework, and without supporting them with adequate training and follow through).
That was a very interesting review. I have heard about the Mimio systems before, but never really heard from anyone who had actually used one in practice. It looks like a lot of fun, even if SMART’s floating toolbar looks like a more elegant space saving solution for annotating web pages with. I would be interested to know how the Mimio teacher resources compare with the SMART Gallery and Lesson Activity Toolkit…
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