The Interwrite School Pad


Integrating the Interesting Interwrite School Pad

By: Sarah Massie, Kira Stanley, RJ Rose, Xi Chen, Jenna Geatz

Frostburg State University Spring 2009

The interwrite school pad is a wireless Bluetooth enabled mini version of the smart board. The school pad provides educators with endless possibilities for teaching lessos and provides mobility within the classroom. The Bluetooth technology allows the interwrite pad to wirelessly connect to a computer. The computer then can be connected to a projector or smart board. In an average classroom of twenty students up to seven pads can be used at one time. The interwrite pad also comes with a software package that includes, graphics, symbols, maps, charts and graphs. The interwrite pad can also interact with Microsoft Office programs, web pages, and pictures. Elementary school teacher Erin Wadel says, “the Interwrite pad is a "cool" tool that kids like to use because it breaks up the daily lecture. Kids like to write on it - even though it is tough. You do not see what you are writing and everyone is not use to that including the teacher. It definitely is worth it to practice, practice, practice before you try and use it in front of the class”

The pros and cons of a classroom tool can affect the decision on whether or not to buy it. The major pro is the usefulness of the Interwrite Schoolpad in the classroom. The Interwrite Schoolpad has been shown to cause improvements in the grades and quality of work of the students. In the case of Eric Green, a math teacher, his student’s test grades rose after using the Interwrite Schoolpad and the students went on to win first place in the district math competition (eInstruction, 2008). Another pro is that the interwrite schoolpad provides an innovative, interesting alternative for the students as compared to the regular schedule and the repeated use of paper throughout the day. Although these are some great positive aspects of the Interwrite Schoolpad, there are still some negative points to address. These cons include the cost and the difficulty to work with it. School funding and fundraisers could help address the cost issue. As for the difficulty, practice makes perfect. It can take a few weeks to get used to because you cannot see what you are writing while you are doing it. The pros of the Interwrite Schoolpad outweigh the cons because it proves to be an effective way for students to learn.
In the math class, the School Pads can improve the interactivity between students and teacher when they learning in the classroom. Teacher can use an electronic pen like a mouse to annotate and highlight any computer image. Teacher is not limited to stand at the front of the room but stand at anywhere in the classroom.
The interwrite schoolpad is a very useful tool in the classroom and can be used for many different subjects. Specifically, language arts is a great subject to use the schoolpad for. Teachers can use the schoolpad to model different spelling words each week, making it easy to walk around the room and check the children’s work and still be able to write things up on the board (Trueman, 2004). The schoolpad is also very useful when it comes to handwriting. When teaching cursive, it is really easy to demonstrate each letter on the pad and project it on the screen. Also, the teacher can allow the students to practice their writing on the schoolpad itself. Overall the interwrite schoolpad benefits the teacher and can enhance language arts in the classroom.

interwritefront.jpgI still remember when I was in middle school, the teacher will make some PowerPoint for the course. But that made the teacher must stand in the front of the classroom to control the computer. Using the School Pads, there is a better communication between the teacher and students and there is more chance that teacher can observe the behavior of the students and make some change for the speed and content of the class.
It is a good way to improve the study effective of the class. During a math class, it is essential to ask student to answer questions, which can be posted on the projection screen in the front of the classroom. With the help of School Pads, students can answer the question in their site. Also, they can challenge each other using the pads to race in math drills. In addition, some parts of the math class is so abstract that will be to hard for the students to understand. But through the School Pads the teacher can shown an exactly graph to explain that kinds of questions. For example, the quadratic function can be easily represented with concrete models on the screen to help students have a better understand. Evidently the Interwrite School Pad can help students get better understanding of the math knowledge, and the technology thing is always attractive to the students. School Pad will improve the effective of math study.

New out of the box, the InterWrite SchoolPad can be found at various tech stores for anywhere from around $250 to approximately $500. Looking on the internet however, led to finding a few used SchoolPads that could be purchased for around $100. When purchasing the SchoolPad, one must take into account if the computers you will be using because they need to have Bluetooth connectivity. If the computer does not have Bluetooth connectivity, an adapter can be purchased for around $30. While multiple SchoolPads can be used in unison with one another in the classroom, having a group of them running at the same time may become complicated. A few teachers have conducted experiments on their own, trying to determine what the optimal number of SchoolPads running together is. The general consensus is that three running together is the most useful and efficient way of using the device. With three pads, it enables the teacher to hold onto one and have two others in the hands of students. Two pads for students enabled one to be passed to the next user while the first was in use.

Paper Completed: March 11, 2009


Group Members:
Xi Chen, Kira Stanley, RJ Rose, Jenna Geatz, Sarah Massie

Article Summaries
Xi Chen
Xi Chen‘s Article Summary#1
Article: Balance Books and Bytes
Author: InterWrite
The paper mainly discusses the education balance between traditional teaching and use of contemporary tools in today’s technology- rich environment. Through introduce some kinds of modern technology such as InterWrite Schoolpad and desktop computers, the paper emphasizes the application of advanced tools for teaching and learning. Also, traditional teaching which pays more attention to teaching and learning rather than technology is addressed in the passage.

Xi Chen‘s Article Summary#2
Article: Interwrite Pad Summit Palm Spring Unified School District, California A Success Stort.
Author: Judy Britt, Joe P. Brasher, Lydia D.Davenport
Through Case Study of Palm Springs Unified School District, California, Interwrite pad realizes teachers gain proximity to their students in the classroom, and provide visual cues to enhance learning at the same time. Through setting up the hardware of the program and educating teachers using Interwrite for math teaching, the effect of teaching appears remarkable.

Xi Chen‘s Article Summary#3
Article: InterWrite SchoolPads Take Technology to a New Level
Author: Anastasia Truman
The advertisement mainly introduces the features of the InterWrite SchoolPads. It emphasizes the entertainment and effect of teaching when using the new technology.


Article 1
InterWrite SchoolPads Take Technology to a New Level
This article, written by Anastasia Trueman from Riverwood Elemetary School in Baltimore Maryland, gives a good background about the SchoolPad. It explains about the basics of what you can do with the school pad, and how to interact with a projected image at the front of the room while standing anywhere in the classroom.
Source: Trueman, A (2004, August 1). InterWrite SchoolPads. Retrieved February 17, 2009, from Article Archives Web site:

Article 2
Notes on the InterWrite SchoolPad
Personally, I think that this article, written by Dr. Vivian Wright, is the most helpful article that I found. It is a more personable article that is not centered around selling the product. The author is very honest when she explains that "it will take a while to get the hang of it." She raves about its ability to work seamlessly with Microsoft Office products also. She offers a few webistes that might be handy for lesson ideas to those first encountering the SchoolPad. She also reminds users to be persistent and says that "at first they are tough to figure out but once you do it enough it gets easier."
Source: Wright, V Notes on the InterWrite SchoolPad. Retrieved February 11, 2009, from Web site:

Article 3
Peer Review- GTCO Calcomp Interwrite Schoolpad 400
For my final article on the InterWrite SchoolPad, I found a review themed testimonial from a teacher, Kevin Talentino, both praising and suggesting InterWrite's product, the SchoolPad. Talentino says, "I like the GTCO SchoolPad because it provides interactive whiteboard technology for about a third of what a large interactive whiteboard costs. The pad fits into the picture perfectly because of what it can do to make the learning environment interactive." I like the fact that Talentino can truthfully and honestly atest to the benefits of using the InterWrite SchoolPad in the classroom, as he has first hand experience with it. For all its praise, no tool is without flaws. Kevin adds, "only one SchoolPad can be used at a time, even though up to seven can be used per configuration," meaning that its hard to integrate multiple SchoolPads together.
Source: Talentino, K (2005, November 1). Peer Review- GTCO Calcomp Interwrite Schoolpad. Retrieved February 18, 2009, from Pro AV Online Web site:

Note to RJ and the group: I told you last week I'll ask real teachers for their input on the Interwrite Pad. Two have responded to our request:
Heather Barr: The Interwrite class pad has so many applications. There are many things for each discipline. As a math teacher I am happy that it will display a grid of graph paper so I don't have to use a clean piece all the time and use so much paper for notes. Although I am not an expert by any means! I am excited about learning how to use everything it can do! It does take a lot of practice and patience as you learn just to use the pad while looking at the screen.
Source: Email to Minnie Ladores, February 17, 2009.
Erin Wadel: The Interwrite pad is a "cool" tool that kids like to use because it breaks up the daily lecture. Kids like to write on it - even though it is tough. You do not see what you are writing and everyone is not use to that including the teacher. It definately is worth it to practice, practice, practice before you try and use it in front of the class. There are also many different things that you can use in math class. I love how it has different types of graph paper that you can put up and use - and then write straight on it. Honestly, I will just put up the graph paper sometimes on to my whiteboard and then write on my whiteboard instead of playing with the Interwrite pad since it is a little trickty sometimes. My notes still seem to be "sloppy" because you don't see what you are writing - you only see it on board projected - but you can stand in the back of the room to write your notes and you can SAVE them for students who were not there and just print them off. Kind of cool!!!
Source: Email to Minnie Ladores, February 16, 2009.

Jenna Geatz, Article Summary #1
Just (2008) is a teacher that began a forum after he posted a story about his search for a tablet that could be used during class for the teacher and the student. He then discovered the interwrite and asked for suggestions from firsthand users. The first response was a teacher that used his with his macbook for mobility. The only con he had was that it took some time to master. He also was in the process of creating lessons with the software downloaded from the interwrite website. Another person responded said it was a great hands-on activity for math and writing. That person also mentioned downloading lessons off the interwrite website.
Just, Scott. (2008, April 20). Interwrite Schoolpad or ?. MACUL Space. Retrieved from

Jenna Geatz, Article Summary #2
Trueman (2008) is an elementary school teacher that wrote an article describing in what ways the interwrite had helped her students. In her story, the interwrite was being used with many different subjects. It is helpful because it is a portable, electronic whiteboard that can be used at any point in the room. Trueman said that this tool was essential to active learning in her classroom. For example, in her math class, the students could easily draw fractions and get a concrete view towards understanding the lesson. Also, in math it provided a fun and challenging tool because students could race. With handwriting, it was helpful because they could trace the cursive letters and eventually move towards writing them by themselves. “With the touch of an electronic pen to the screen, students are using their skills in new ways, making learning more authentic and fun (Trueman).”
Trueman, Anastasia. (2008, Aug. 1). InterWrite SchoolPad takes technology to a new level. T H E Journal. Retrieved Feb. 10, 2008, from

Jenna Geatz, Article Summary #3
On the interwrite learning website, there are many case studies of success stories with the interwrite pad in the classroom. In the case of a music teacher in a Florida elementary school, he began using the interwrite schoolpad to teach children notes and lines. In another case, Eric Green, a math teacher, taught the kids to use the cps clickers that come with the interwrite pad to answer questions. In this manner, he could see what students were and were not getting it. Eventually, the sixth grade’s test scores rose and they went on to win first place in the district math competition. These are just a few of the examples of success stories.
Case Studies. (2008). eInstruction. Retrieved February 10, 2009, from

Sarah Massie, Article Summary 1
This article provide a teachers insight and point of view on the interwrite think pad. It was very interesting to learn the various ways that the interwrite pad can be integrated into the classroom environment. The school pad provides electronic mobility for the educator and can be used for many subjects. The teacher spoke of using it for math problems, as well as, handwriting practice.
Source: Educational Technology

Sarah Massie, Article Summary 2

This article described how the interwrite pad was being integrated into the classroom. In this descriptive study an interwrite pad is distributed to every student. The students then use the interwrite pad to interact with presentation. The study was designed to see that, if by utilizing the interwrite pad technology, students would stay on track more effectively. The interwrite pads also include a student response system that allows the students to respond to the teacher through their pad and the main computer to keep an accurate gauge of students responses.
Source: Roberts, Beth. (2007, April 14). Interactive Instructional Technologies in Action: Interwrite SchoolPad and Turning Point’s Student Response System.

Sarah Massie, Article Summary 3
This article is a blog written by a teacher who integrated the interwrite pad into her classroom. The teacher first used the pad herself, then she taught the children how to use the pad, then she had them use it on their own. The teacher then was given more pads to use within her classroom and she did experiments with a varying number of pads during group work. In the article she spoke about how it would take awhile for the computer to recognize the different users and the optimum amount of pads to use at one time was three. This article was very beneficial because it gave a real teachers point of view.
Source: Simon, J. (2007, April 18). Educating the Dragon: Interwrite School Pads.

Kira Stanley's Summary #1
In this article, eInstruction discusses how the interwrite pad was created to help teachers work more efficiently in their classrooms. The interwrite school pad is the first wireless device that allows you to teach anywhere in the classroom. This piece of technology allows teachers to teach their interactive lessons while moving around the classroom and still being able to interact with their students rather than just sit in front of the computer screen. The interwrite school pad can be used to project images on any white board and make a lesson a lot more fun.
Source: <>

Kira Stanley's Summary #2
Dr. Vivian Wright wrote this article about the interwrite school pad and how it works. This article goes more in depth on how the interwrite pad actually operates. There are two different modes that the pad runs in and those are Office and Interactive. Office mode allows you to access any Microsoft program and you can highlights, write, and create new documents in your own handwriting. Interactive Mode allows the teacher to access websites, work with pictures, and any other programs it comes with. Overall this article gives insightful tips to teachers to help them understand the interwrite school pad better.

Kira Stanley's Summary #3
Anastasia Trueman a teacher from Riderwood Elementary School in Maryland discusses her success with the interwrite schoolpad. She states that the schoolpad helps out in almost every subject. She can use it for math problems and allow the students to even write their answers on it to share with the class. Trueman also says it's great for language arts when she was doing spelling words and handwriting techniques. It allowed students to trace letters easier and understand how to write them.
Source: <>__


Case Studies. (2008). eInstruction. Retrieved February 10, 2009, from

Talentino, K (2005, November 1). Peer Review- GTCO Calcomp Interwrite Schoolpad. Retrieved February 18, 2009, from Pro AV Online Web site:

Trueman, Anastasia. (2008, Aug. 1). InterWrite SchoolPad takes technology to a new level. T H E Journal. Retrieved Feb. 10, 2008, from

Trueman, A (2004, August 1). InterWrite SchoolPads. Retrieved February 17, 2009, from Article Archives Web site:

Wright, V Notes on the InterWrite SchoolPad. Retrieved February 11, 2009, from Web site: