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8 Powerful Whiteboard Tools to Enhance Online Learning

Using a whiteboard in online learning has become an integral part of education, presenting unique challenges and opportunities for engaging students. Previously, we discussed how to use the Aww App, which later evolved into Miro, in conjunction with Zoom for effective online classes. With advancements in technology, many new tools have emerged, offering a variety of features to enhance the online learning experience. This updated guide explores these newer tools and provides practical tips for integrating them into your online teaching.

Evolution of Online Collaboration Tools

As the landscape of online education continues to evolve, so do the tools available to educators. The variety of applications now available can cater to different teaching styles and classroom needs, making it essential to choose the right tool for your specific requirements. Modern apps offer features like real-time collaboration, multimedia integration, and seamless integration with other educational tools, making them indispensable for today’s educators.

Newer Tools for Online Education

Introduction to New Apps

Selecting the appropriate tool can significantly impact the effectiveness of your online teaching. Factors to consider include ease of use, available features, and compatibility with other tools and platforms.

List of Recommended Apps

  • Jamboard (by Google)
    • Integration with Google Workspace: Easily collaborate using other Google tools.
    • Features: Sticky notes, drawing tools, collaborative capabilities.
    • How to Use: Open Jamboard, create a new board, and invite students via their Google accounts to collaborate in real-time.
  • Whiteboard.fi
    • Real-time Feedback: Provides individual boards for students, enabling personalized feedback.
    • Features: Simple interface, quick setup, real-time interaction.
    • How to Use: Create a class and share the code with students. Each student gets their own space while the teacher can monitor and provide instant feedback.
  • Explain Everything
    • Interactive Whiteboard: Allows for multimedia integration, including images, videos, and audio.
    • Features: Record lessons, draw, collaborate in real-time.
    • How to Use: Start a new project, add multimedia elements, and invite students to collaborate or view the presentation live.
  • Ziteboard
    • Simple and Effective: Ideal for real-time collaboration with a zooming canvas.
    • Features: Drawing tools, text and image insertion.
    • How to Use: Create a new board, share the link with students, and collaborate in real-time with a zoomable interface.
  • Microsoft Whiteboard
    • Integration with Microsoft Teams: Seamlessly fits into the Microsoft ecosystem.
    • Features: Collaborative canvas, rich media support, templates.
    • How to Use: Open Microsoft Whiteboard, create a new board, and invite students via Teams for integrated collaboration.
  • Conceptboard
    • Visual Collaboration Platform: Great for brainstorming and project planning.
    • Features: Templates, real-time collaboration, multimedia support.
    • How to Use: Choose a template, add multimedia elements, and collaborate with students in real-time using shared boards.
  • Miro
    • Versatile Collaboration Tool: Ideal for brainstorming, planning, and teaching.
    • Features: Infinite canvas, pre-made templates, real-time collaboration, integration with other tools.
    • How to Use: Sign up on Miro, create a new board, and invite students to collaborate in real-time using the various tools and templates available.

Comparison of Popular Whiteboard Apps

AppIntegrationReal-time CollaborationFeaturesEase of UseBest ForPricePlatform SupportRank
MiroSlack, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, DropboxYesInfinite canvas, templates, integrationsEasyBrainstorming, planning, teachingFree trial, paid plansWeb, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android1
MuralSlack, Microsoft Teams, Google DriveYesMulti-canvas, templates, voting, chatEasyRemote team meetings, brainstormingFree trial, paid plansWeb, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android2
JamboardGoogle WorkspaceYesSticky notes, drawing tools, collaborationEasySimple collaboration, quick setupsFree with Google accountWeb, iOS, Android3
Microsoft WhiteboardMicrosoft TeamsYesCollaborative canvas, rich media supportEasyCollaboration within Microsoft ecosystemFree with Microsoft accountWeb, Windows, iOS4
Whiteboard.fiStandaloneYesIndividual boards, real-time feedbackEasyIndividual student work, feedbackFree, premium plans availableWeb5
ZiteboardStandaloneYesDrawing tools, text/image insertionEasyReal-time collaborationFreeWeb6
Explain EverythingGoogle Drive, DropboxYesMultimedia integration, recording lessonsModerateMultimedia presentations, interactive lessonsFree trial, paid plansWeb, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS7
ConceptboardGoogle Drive, Microsoft Office, DropboxYesTemplates, real-time collaboration, multimedia supportModerateBrainstorming, project planningFree trial, paid plansWeb, Windows, macOS, iOS8

Basics of Using Whiteboard Apps

Getting Started

To begin using a whiteboard app, follow these steps:

  • Setup: Install the app and create an account if necessary.
  • Navigation: Familiarize yourself with the basic tools and interface.
  • Tutorials: Utilize available tutorials and guides to learn advanced features.

Integrating with Online Classes

Effective integration of whiteboard apps with video conferencing tools like Zoom involves:

  • Minimizing the Zoom Window: Teach students how to adjust their windows so they can see both the video call and the whiteboard.
  • Seamless Switching: Practice switching between the video conferencing app and the whiteboard tool to maintain class flow.
  • Dual Screens: If possible, use a dual-screen setup to make it easier to manage multiple applications simultaneously.

Engaging Students with Whiteboard Tools

Whiteboard apps can be highly interactive, making lessons more engaging:

  • Interactive Lessons: Use the whiteboard for drawing, annotations, and visual explanations.
  • Collaborative Activities: Encourage group work and real-time collaboration.
  • Real-time Feedback: Provide immediate feedback by interacting with individual student boards.
  • Gamification: Incorporate games and interactive activities to make learning fun and engaging.

Tips for Effective Use

Best Practices for Teachers

  • Plan Lessons: Incorporate whiteboard tools into your lesson plans to maximize their potential.
  • Manage Participation: Use features like breakout rooms and screen sharing to manage student interaction.
  • Utilize Features: Make the most of annotation tools, templates, and multimedia integration.
  • Practice: Regularly practice using these tools to become proficient and troubleshoot any issues quickly.

Tips for Students

  • Stay Organized: Teach students how to manage multiple windows and apps efficiently.
  • Maximize Engagement: Encourage active participation and use of whiteboard features.
  • Practice: Encourage students to practice using these tools to become comfortable and adept at using them for learning.
  • Seek Help: Remind students to ask for help if they encounter difficulties with the technology.

Conclusion

Modern whiteboard tools are essential for enhancing online learning experiences. They offer innovative ways to keep students engaged and interactive, making online education more effective and enjoyable. As an educator, exploring and adapting these tools to fit your teaching style can significantly benefit your students. Stay updated with new features and tools to continually improve your online classes.

By integrating these newer whiteboard apps with your online teaching, you can create a dynamic and interactive learning environment that meets the needs of today’s students. Embrace these tools to foster a more engaging, collaborative, and effective online learning experience.

For more ways to make learning fun and engaging, check out our post on Enjoy Math with Your Child: 10 Fun and Engaging Ways and our article on Essential Questions are Key to Engaging Lesson Plans.

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