Wiimote placement is key. You will have to experiment to find the best location for your wiimote in relation to your projected image. One suggestion is to use an adjustable height microphone stand and clip your wiimote on top. I have found that to be a simple and effective solution.
My other tip is to remember to always set up your wiiboard BEFORE class. I can't tell you how much classtime I've wasted trying to setup my wiiboard. It's not a quick process.
I'm using it on a Mac (G5 powerpc) with this software: http://www.uweschmidt.org/wiimote-whiteboard
and it works great. I tried it on XP with a bluetooth dongle, and had a lot of issues. On the mac, it connects right away and haven't had any issues. I'm still looking for good software applications to use with it (right now it's more like a wireless mouse than an interactive whiteboard). If you have a newer mac, or a pc, Promethean has some free software that looks promising: http://www.prometheanworld.com/server.php?show=nav.16874
Unfortunately, it wont work on my older mac.
I don't know about the calibrating issues you are having. On mine, I click calibrate on the computer, and the overhead goes white with 4 Xs in each corner to click. I click them in order, with no lag, and the program just works from there. I hope you get it figured out. It is a great little device, and the students love using it.
Also, I forgot to mention, I have the projector set up as dual-monitor (not mirrored). That way, I have set the Mac's resolution on the external monitor to the recommended setting of the projector, and the calibration screen perfectly fills the projected image, and doesn't affect the actual computer's screen.
I've used one my husband and I created and I have a teacher who uses one occasionally. Our high school computer repair teacher has made one and uses it as well. We are all using XP. I also have a Macbook and software to do it on the Mac, but haven't tried it. There are plenty of discussion groups dealing with the Wiimote Whiteboard - from advice on setting up and calibrating to software (both for the Wiimote connection itself and for tools) and other resources (pens, etc.). There are also presentations available on Slideshare showing setups.
I have been using this in my history and economics classes. I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas on how to use it in ways that add a lot of value to my lessons. Here are some ideas I've had that I can't do or have a very difficult time doing with a regular white board or other tools.
-drawing on maps (and then saving the maps and uploading them to a class website)
-moving economics graphs back and forth (both graphs I've made and online graphs)
-organizing "pre-made" information
-putting powerpoint online, then making marks on the powerpoint presentation
My wife has used it in her physics classes to facilitate moving graphs on the boards
-english teacher: making markings on a piece of art that goes along with literature
-math teacher: creating and manipulating graphs
I find it difficult to write with - the wiimote doesn't seem to pick up nuanced movements of the pen, and the software becomes jerky at times. I even found it a little difficult to trace the pens. I'm not sure if its my particular equipment or if its a problem across the board.
The difficulty you are having with writing is something I have been wrestling with as well. Higher tracking resolution and high quality pen will help. I recommend the pens from Penteractive
I completely agree with you about a lack of activities for using the capabilities of the interactive wiiboard. There is mountains of information on setting up the system, but hardly anything about how to use it once you have it!
I have done my best to document some of the effective uses of the wiiboard that I have discovered on my Wiki. I also post about new ideas on my blog. If you find other good ideas please pass them my way so that we can help others find effective uses for this neat technology.
Is anyone besides Ben and Dale using Smoothboard? It has a smoothing averaging feature that makes it easier to write nicely... and if you have Vista Premium, it supports tablet pc in a lot of ways that make the system even smoother... try writing in InkSeine, or OneNote, and you will see a VERY nice level of writing.
For economics, have them calculate the money they saved on the whiteboard! Seriously, the Wii Whiteboard is a great example of New economics, with Free or almost free being feasable economically... (Freeconomics.)
@Dale, what differences do you notice between the two set-ups?
I come to the same point which is "how to best use it?"
I've found out that mindmaps were quite good for use with a whiteboard ... meaning an existing mindmap (used an online one) as I didn't get enough precision for it to be interesting in drawings, I found it great "opening" parts of the mindmap in a project meeting.
I'm using IOgear bluetooth devices (Walmart $20.00) on XP (school machines) and Vista (Personal), and I can set up both in about 2 minutes. I use the Java Whiteboard verson on the XP while I only use Smoothboard on the Vista.
Smoothboard is nice because gives you an Idea how well your wiimote is tracking the IR pen. I find that the best position is slightly in front of the projector and slightly to the right or left depending on your handedness(?).
A comprehensive setup guide is at http://www.boonjin.com/smooth whilst I wrote the software manual for Smoothboard the setup instructions covers setting up a Wiimote IWB in general including BT issues.
I've built one and ot works great! I've used it with students and when presenting to other teachers. It's much better than using an actual whiteboard because you can use the screen that's probably already in your room.