February 14, 2018
What is a Mimio?
In school settings there first was the chalkboard, then the whiteboard, and now we have interactive whiteboards. In my classroom I use an interactive whiteboard system called Mimio. A Mimio is different from a Smartboard or a Promethean board because you do not need to install a completely new board to make it interactive; the whiteboard that is already in your classroom is the board that becomes interactive.
With a Mimio system you need a few things: a whiteboard, a laptop, a projector, and the Mimio tools that come with the kit. The Mimio kit includes: a wall mount, an interactive pen, an adapter for a laptop, a chip that connects to the pen, and a power chord to plug into an outlet in a wall. Just like Smartboards and other interactive whiteboard technology, you need the program downloaded on your laptop to start creating, but once you have it, you are good to go!
In my classroom, we use the Mimio all day, every day. We use it for Language Arts, Math and even during our Morning Meeting time. Each morning, my students come in and use the Mimio to take attendance.
Since using the Mimio, I have noticed that my students are more engaged in my teaching. They also want to participate more because it gives them a chance to use, “the magic board,” as they call it. It also allows my students to navigate some basic technology skills in a controlled setting. Many times I have to restart or recalibrate the board. Anytime there is an issue with the Mimio Board, I try to solve it myself in front of my students. This allows them to understand that there is not a single problem they cannot solve, as long as they take their time and try many different solutions. When my students are using the board, and an issue occurs I encourage or guide them, but ultimately many of they tend to fix the problem themselves. My students may not be able to read but they understand that a red x means cancel and an arrow to the left means back and an arrow to the right means forward. These are basic skills that will allow the students to navigate all different types of technology they could possibly encounter in their futures.
I love using a Mimio, but even though I adore it I know it has some faults. One setback is that the Mimio requires a lot of setup and separate parts that need to come together. Unlike Smartboards or Promethean boards- that just get turned on with a button- the Mimio needs to be turned on, everything needs to be connected and then the board needs to be calibrated. I always give myself at least 5 minutes to setup the Mimio in the morning, because I know it takes a few minutes and I like it to be setup before my kiddos arrive. Another con of the Mimio is the height difficulty. I teach kindergarten and a lot of my students can only reach about halfway up the board. But many of the activities we do goes past that. Ideally, I would like the Mimio to be like a mobile smartboard and move up and down, to accommodate the height of the little learners.
All in all, the Mimio is a great tool that has become an essential part of my teaching. For me, I am more comfortable teaching when I have a Smartboard. I truly believe that the Mimio has made me a better teacher, and my students better learners.