Online whiteboards

Update – totally revised and updated version of this very popular post – March 2014

The updated version has some new tools and a great deal more detail.

Something I use a lot. I should explain my requirements - I often answer students’ questions on mathematics on our school VLE. Now writing mathematics can be a pain (and yes I know about LaTex), all I want to do is to be able to communicate quickly. An online whiteboard which can be saved is perfect – I just post the link to our student forums, these have been very well received. Note that a graphics tablet is essential.

Now I am wondering which is best for my use….

An interesting toolscreenr seems to do exactly what I want, it is very easy to use and plays back as I want it to – send straight to your chosen application or get the url (or both). screenr test 2. The screencast can be published easily to YouTube. Update: You can now sign in to screenr in a variety of ways (formerly just Twitter). For a training video on using Screenr – see this by Russell Stannard. (From his Teacher Training videos site).

(See also Online Whiteboards and Feedback)

Screencast-o-matic – now here is an interesting tool – very easy to use to capture the screen. I tried capturing myself using the interactive whiteboard software. Simultaneous Equations example here!

twiddla – good in that we can all use but files cannot be saved – good for collaboration.

Scriblink – this seems to work well, files can be saved, an email (which takes rather too long to arrive) provides the link.

Another to try: Board 800

Update – August 2011 – another easy way to have a quick scribble - Doodle.ly see quadratic example. Select Doodle Now, doodle, then publish; I used my Twitter account, other options are available including Facebook.

Update – October 2011 - AWW which provides a very easy way to easily share a whiteboard sketch – no sign up or installation required – just write away then share!

23 comments on “Online whiteboards

    • Thank you very much Jason, this looks good – I shall experiment and add to the post.

      Note for readers: there are various pricing plans for collaboration but the board seems to be free.

    • Thank you Peter, that does look interesting, the free option is very limited though. My aim here is to let people know about all the tools that it is possible to use at minimum cost! This post is so popular, I
      think I will revisit it.

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  2. Hi Colleen. Great website – I look forward to having a proper look around.

    Have you come across Vyew.com? It’s an online whiteboard & meeting / collaboration site with a free subscription option. I’ve used it for online lessons (1-2-1 and group) and even to broadcast an actual lesson from within school when a couple of A level students were off sick but wanted to take part from home! You can set up various rooms and each room is persistent between sessions, which means we have also used it as an online notice board where students can leave messages or questions for the rest of the class outside of hours. Interested to know what you and others think…

  3. One possibility would be to use JING for your screen capture, and you can audio narrate as you go. The vids can be up to 5 minutes, and depending upon whether you are using the free or paid subscription, you can save the video in either .swf or .mp4 formats. *I think the .swf files are visually crisper.
    http://www.techsmith.com/Jing/?gclid=CL2qpt6b_KoCFQ4q7AodMl9g5w

    You could use a graphics tablet with any program, probably even Paint, for actually doing the math on screen.

    • I agree Jing is excellent.
      You are quite right in that the graphics tablet works well with all these tools / programs – Paint included.

      It’s good to have a variety of tools at our disposal!

  4. another great app to use… if you have iPads is Showme
    http://www.showme.com/ Teachers (or students) can make whiteboard presentations and post them online. This could also be used as an absentee notes or presentation page. I am not sure if you can upload formats or just create them. If you can upload into show me, that would make notebook, scriblink, and other whiteboard tools inter-compatible.

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  6. Pingback: Presentations « Mathematics, Learning and Web 2.0

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