Online Whiteboarding Tool
Type of software: Web 2.0, digital whiteboard
Primary user: companies, teachers, and students
Appropriate audience: anyone wanting to present information, or work together on a certain project (for students, probably high school aged and older).
Price: Free, or upgrade to access more features ($8/month)
- Add a frame to the board, which acts like a page and choose a template to get started.
- Upload videos, pictures, and links.
- Use sticky notes to save ideas and brainstorm.
- Create charts on the board.
- Collaborate with others by adding them to your board. Can collaborate in real time (like Google Drive).
- Any recent changes on the board are highlighted so users can keep up with who has been editing and what has been changed.
- Directly communicate with someone by mentioning his or her username. User will be notified that they have been mentioned via email or just simply on the browser.
- Work is instantly saved.
- Add emojis to your board through sticky notes as a way to react to people’s ideas.
Age appropriateness: This software is appropriate for upper middle to college-aged students. Because the user needs good technology knowledge to use this, I would say it would be difficult for elementary aged students to use. Older students can get the best use out of this software because they can easily collaborate with teachers and other students through the digital whiteboard, and they can also put their skills such as, using Word features, inserting content such as links, videos, pictures, etc. and using tables to good use.
Ease of use: Because I have prior experience with technology and know how to navigate and use it fairly well, I found this software to be very easy to use. All of the features are easily accessible, and the website provides tips and videos for users if they need extra assistance or any clarifications. It is very easy to leave comments, insert text and external links, add people to your whiteboard, and more.
Feedback provided: It is very easy for someone to leave a comment or a sticky note on someone’s work or idea. A teacher could use the comment section or the sticky notes section to leave feedback on a student or group of students’ whiteboard. Then, the student could see the teacher’s comments and make necessary changes to their whiteboard. The teacher could even create a rubric and post the link in the comment he or she makes so the students have direct access on their whiteboard to the rubric.
- Coming from a teacher’s standpoint, it might be hard to have elementary or middle aged students work on this software because it is advanced and the user needs to have a fairly decent technological background to use it.
- Might be difficult for a teacher to present material using this whiteboard because all of the features could easily distract students, especially if they had access to the whiteboard while the teacher was presenting the material.
- All users would need access to a computer, laptop, or tablet to access this site.
Below is a video describing how to set up your first whiteboard on RealtimeBoard:
Applications within Education:
If a teacher wants students to collaborate by brainstorming ideas on a certain topic or for a group project but does not know how to get all students involved, he or she can use Realtime board to do so. By giving each student access to the whiteboard, everyone can easily collaborate and contribute to the assignment by posting sticky notes, inserting links or videos, commenting on other’s ideas, and more. Because it is so easy and there are many different ways to contribute on this site, the teacher can have the peace of knowing that all students are involved in some way.
If students are collaborating on some sort of project and the teacher wants to give direct and concrete feedback to all students but does not know how to do so, using this software could easily solve that problem. As long as the group of students adds the teacher into their whiteboard, the teacher can view student’s progress and see what all of their ideas are. The teacher can leave sticky notes or comment on things the students have posted so students can easily view the feedback, and apply it to their whiteboard. He or she could even add a link to an external source for students to do deeper research; the possibilities are endless!
Click here to view the whiteboard I created and played around with.