Interactive Whiteboard Fix

It’s official: My SmartBoard is dead. After eight years of faithful service, the board recently gave up the ghost after numerous failed life-support attempts. Since the warranty expired long ago, I was forced to unplug/say goodbye.

A replacement board would cost thousands (money my district doesn’t have), so I was left searching for a creative and affordable solution. Enter IPEVO.

Using the same technology as a TV remote, the IPEVO IS-01 device connects to your computer, turning the projected image into an interactive experience. You can manipulate the projection with a special pen/wand, writing with digital ink or using the pen as a mouse to control your computer. It works on any hard surface like a plain wall, though I prefer the smooth surface of an old-school whiteboard because my classroom walls are covered with bumpy stucco texture.

Here’s what the IS-01 includes:


And here’s a closer look at how I use the pen in class:

The device, which you can learn more about here, costs just $149. What the heck? That’s a BARGAIN compared to the price of similar technologies. If you’re interested, convince your administrator to buy one for your campus and let you pilot it in your classroom. You’ll be thrilled at this little gizmo’s ability to engage students and increase their focus on the board; they’ll all want a turn with the pen.

Please note: I have no relationship of any kind with IPEVO and do not benefit financially from this product review. I simply found a tool that’s working great in my classroom and wanted to share it with my blog readers.

That’s all for now. Teach on, everyone!

10 thoughts on “Interactive Whiteboard Fix

  1. I enjoyed the background music while you “taught” in your video. We all should start playing this jam while we teach! 🙂

    Just a note about your games: Are you familiar with Kahoot? It takes some prep work, but the kids love it. They can use their phones to answer.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Yeah, Michelle, that jam really gets the blood pumpin’, eh? It’s called “EDM Detection Mode” by Kevin MacLeod and it greatly increased my enjoyment of the editing process.

    As for Kahoot, I always thought it was for primary grades until about a week ago when it came up in conversation with one of my friends on campus who teaches Spanish. She said our highschoolers LOVE it. Now you’ve just made it official – I have a new teacher tech toy to go check out. Thanks for the tip!

    And thanks for reading; I love your comments and ideas because they help me feel like I’m not just blogging to a wall. Someone out there’s reading this. YEA! 🙂

  3. This is SO COOL! I’m super fortunate to have a new LCD screen that’s like a fancy schmancy smart board (perks of Title 1 tech grants). I love it and use it often, but the IPEVO seems even more user-friendly and simple. You don’t have to unplug this cord, switch that application, etc…and you get a much larger surface area! I just love the simplicity.

    I second the Kahoot comment! It’s a great review tool, and there are also some fun quizzes on there that I use for rewards or brain breaks. Disney movie trivia? 9th graders love it.

  4. Awesome, Mrs. Bookworm! I’ve seen those LCD screens and now I’m the jealous one. And wait. Kahoot has PRE-MADE quizzes? What the what? I’m going there now…

  5. Hi Laura! How far away is your device from the screen? In my classroom, my computer is on the opposite end of the classroom and I am concerned about getting poor reception.

  6. Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for checking in with me! I have a rolling cart at the front of my room that holds my laptop, projector, and the little IPEVO sensor. The cart is about 9 feet or so away from the wall that receives the projection. On the product’s website, it says, “The Sensor Cam has an effective range of about 3.7 to 13.1 feet,” making me think this probably isn’t a good solution for your current room configuration. Bummer. Maybe time to move some furniture? 😉

  7. Hi Laura,
    I just watched your video and I have a question. (Your video was great, btw). My school has no $$, but my principal is looking at getting me an IPevo to use to engage and motivate my students. I came from a classroom with a Smartboard, and I am missing it SO MUCH!! One thing I have not seen on anything I’ve watched about the iPevo is the ability to drag things. Do you remember in Smart Notebook, you could drag things around. Can you do that in IPEVO? Also, with Smart Notebook, you got the gallery with all kinds of clipart. Does IPEVO have that? And are there any premade lessons with IPEVO like you get with Smart on the Smart Exchange? I’m not really trying to compare apples to oranges, but I’m trying to figure out if the IPEVO is going to work for me, and from what I can tell, it really just annotates and writes. What else can it do that makes it stand out?
    Thank you SO MUCH for any info. (I ask because you have used it, and you used to have a Smartboard)
    Thank you, again.

  8. Hi Jamie,
    Thanks for checking in with me. I definitely like the IPEVO, but it doesn’t have all of the fancy infrastructure (clip art library, pre-made lesson exchange) that SMART offers and the software is still pretty bare bones, though they did just add a windowshade and spotlight feature that are pretty snazzy. The minimalism of the software doesn’t really bother me because I never used SMART’s pre-made files, so I don’t miss them. I haven’t yet built any slides from scratch within IPEVO’s Annotation software (their equivalent of Notebook) because I’m still able to run all of my old SMART Notebook files and Powerpoints, just as I did before. In fact, my campus still has a license for SMART’s Notebook software (a few other teachers on my campus still have working SMARTBoards), so I plan to just keep using that or, more likely, Prezi whenever I want to build something new.

    Oh, and the plastic “wand” becomes the mouse, so you will be able to drag and slide things around on your board, just as you did before. The only thing that’s new with that is I need to make sure my body doesn’t block the line-of-sight between the wand and the little cyclops monster attached to my laptop when I’m working at the board. It’s sort of like a TV remote that way.

    In my class, one of the best things about the IPEVO (and the SMARTBoard before it) is the ability to save notes/slides to share with absent kids or those with IEPs, not to mention the “cool” factor that keeps everyone’s attention. For some reason, teens really want to get to the board and write with digital ink instead of regular old whiteboard markers. It’s really the same thing, but they’re just mesmerized by it. 🙂

    Hope this helps with your planning,

  9. Hi Laura,
    Thank you so much for your quick response! We just got an IPEVO to test out, and we couldn’t make the drag function work. Can you explain how to use it? I drew a square from the shape tool, and I tried to move it around, like how you could move things from the Notebook gallery, but it wouldn’t go anywhere. And when in draw mode, the mouse icon wouldn’t activate (for lack of a better description)
    Thank you, again!!

  10. Hey Jamie,
    Hmm…the only thing that I’ve dragged so far are other files around the desktop, sliding a website out of view, and moving the windowshade of my old SMART Notebook files up and down as I’m presenting. I have to be careful to make sure I’m in the desktop mode rather than the drawing mode to make this happen, if that makes sense. I haven’t drawn anything like the square shape you mentioned within IPEVO’s Annotation software and then tried to move it, so I’m not sure how to do what you’re asking. Maybe art within Annotation is static, like on a piece of paper? Ack! Sounds like this is a good question the IPEVO folks. You can find their help desk here: I’m also thinking you could build with shapes within Powerpoint and then try moving those elements with the IPEVO pen as you present, maybe?

    Sorry I can’t be more helpful with this one. Hope you’re able to find a workaround!

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