Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Color Me Excited: Interactive Whiteboards and Bomomo

I'm in Albany, Georgia this week attending SMART Notebook 10 certification training. Although I already know a great deal about a number of slates and interactive whiteboards--eInstruction's Interwrite Pad, Mimio, Promethean's Activclassroom materials, as well as SMART products to name a few--I've picked up a few, novel tricks and enjoyed catching up with a few old (and new) friends. During some of the intermissions between the training, a few of my friends disucussed ways to get reluctant educators to warm up to the idea of integrating interactive whiteboards and slates within their instructional practices. I've got an idea that I think will help to foster teacher and student use of IWBs. My ideas is based on this premise: people are more inclined to do something that is enjoyable.

In this case, fun comes in the form of Bomomo, an addictive Flash-based art application that runs in a browser such as Firefox. I'm willing to bet that once technophobic educators play around with Bomomo and create some lovely digital images, their fear of IWBs and similar tools will eventually dissipate. Why? That's easy: Bomomo is fun and offers users to create something beautiful.
Using Bomomo with a traditional mouse is relatively simple. One merely clicks on a tool and drags it around, generating beautiful random swirls or spots of color. The tools look like this:

When combined with an IWB such as the SMARTBoard, it's even easier and even more engaging. I believe educators and students would like employing Bomomo as a kind of "warm up" exercise before going on to more refined uses of an IWB. Even if instructors and pupils only play around with Bomomo and want to keep their works of art, they. Users need only click on the disk icon and to save the finished products as jpg image files.

They also have the option of saving their Bomomo masterpieces as a high quality png image files.

What do you think? Is this just a silly diversion or a resource worthy of use in the classroom? How might teachers or students make use of Bomomo in an instructional manner? Anyone care to offer an opinion?

Related links:
Still feeling artistic? Get in touch with your inner Jackson Pollock.

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