Trackpad vs IWB or Trackpad + IWB

I’ve had the Apple Trackpad in my classroom for two days now and already I can see a change in my teaching!

  • For a start I can wander around the classroom and refer back to what’s showing on the screen without moving back to my laptop – that keeps me in contact with the student or students I’m working with.
  • It takes me away from the “front” of the classroom. (I don’t have a desk but I do have a seat beside my laptop which is connected to the data projector.)
  • It puts the mouse control into the students’ hands especially when using interactive websites.
  • If I’m working with a small group and want to refer to something on our class, maths or literacy wiki I will be able to do that and not lose continuity with the work we’re doing.

But does it do away with the IWB?

I don’t think so – I think students will use the trackpad to manipulate IWB notebooks (as well as interactive websites) but I doubt they’ll be able to write using the trackpad or use the popout keyboard. (I haven’t tested it on my students BUT I can’t write with the trackpad!)

I’m also not sure if it’s compatible with PCs. Sad for PC using teachers but good news for Apple using teachers. I wonder if any other teachers are using the trackpad?

I have a Mimio in my classroom – it works alongside my traditional whiteboard and is on the cheaper end of IWB products. I like it because there’s not a lot for kids to damage (I heard one teacher say at a conference that his kids had to stay at least 1 meter away from their IWB in case they damage it!) and it’s easy to set up and use.

3 thoughts on “Trackpad vs IWB or Trackpad + IWB

  • August 29, 2010 at 3:00 am

    I am a student at the University of South Alabama, and I think that more teachers should try this trackpad out. I have never seen one but from the way you described it, it seems to have more pros than cons. Today, so many teachers have the mentality to face the children’s desk toward the teachers desk in order to teach. With the trackpad, it would cut out the laziness and teachers could interact with their class, which also helps with learning. I also think though that it should be the trackpad + IWB.
    I have a blog at please feel free to come and check it out. I look forward to seeing what you write next.

  • August 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I love the fact that you don’t stand at the “front” of your classroom and “lecture” your students. In my opinion, students are more open to discussion when they feel like they aren’t in a lecture type structure. I know that they may feel less intimidated and more likely to speak up. I’ve never heard of this product, but I love the idea of it! I love that students can interact with you in that way! It makes learning new and fun for them. I look forward to your next blog! –Emily

  • October 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    My name is Caitlin and I’m a student at the University of South Alabama. I’m in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. The trackpad was first introduced to me late into my Junior year of high school. One of the teachers at my school had attended a conference and received a trackpad in doing so. I thought i was the neatest thing! She used the trackpad to play review games with her IWB. She would have the questions up on the WB and would bring the trackpad to her students to answer the questions. I envied the students who were in her class! I wanted to learn in such a fun way. I don’t think anyone will be doing away with the IWBs anytime soon. They’re very valuable and helpful. Add more technology to them, and more doors open! There’s so much one can do with technology these days in the classroom and it’s absolutely wonderful. I can’t wait to implement these tools into my future classroom.

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