Let's face it. When you're not present in your classroom, you miss your whiteboard.
It's convenient. Everyone in the room can see it. You can write text and draw pictures on it, then erase it clean in an instant.
When you're teaching remotely, the physical whiteboard may be gone. But the concept of using it to teach doesn't have to be.
In this post, you'll see 10 options for teaching remotely with whiteboards. With most of these options, you can ...
- Start a video call using your preferred video call platform (Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc.). Share your screen so students can see your whiteboard.
- Use a screen recording tool to capture video you can share with students later. Use a tool like Screencastify, Loom, Snagit, the Game Bar app in Windows, etc.
Have another idea for online whiteboarding for remote learning? Share it in a comment below!
Whiteboards while recording your screen
If you want to do your whiteboarding digitally, there are lots of tools that can help. Bring up any of the options below on your laptop or Chromebook and start teaching!
Canvas chrome app (canvas.apps.chrome)
Want to jot some simple doodles on a screen? This simple app gives you several pen options, different colors and an eraser. It's great for a touchscreen device and is servicable for non-touchscreens. Its lack of features may be its best benefit: it's easy to use. Plus, it automatically saves your creations for re-using or downloading as an image.
This free Google tool isn't just about expensive interactive displays. You can use the app for free on any device. It creates whiteboards that are a lot like slides. Add sticky notes, drawings, images, text and more. Move them around on the screen easily. Then, share your "jams" with others and let them collaborate. If you don't want to write with a pen, this is a great non-touchscreen option.
Whiteboard app in Windows
If you have a Windows laptop (or Surface tablet), this has been waiting for you all along! Just type the word "whiteboard" in to the search next to the Windows button. It offers a variety of pens, a ruler, and a lasso to move items around. You can even add text, notes, lists, templates, images, and more.
Aww app (awwapp.com)
This online whiteboard app offers lots of the features you'd expect: a vareity of pens, shapes, notes and text. You can also upload PowerPoint slides and images. But here's what makes Aww App stand out: others can join your board and add to it in real time. FYI: Your boards disappear after a period of inactivity, so if you want to keep what you created, you might export it when you're done.
If you have a touchscreen Windows device, this is a fantastic option. OneNote is my favorite notetaking app. Open a fresh note in OneNote to use as your online whiteboard. It's an infinite canvas, so it gets as big as you want. It integrates nicely with other Microsoft 365 products. Plus, OneNote has GREAT math options: symbols, an equation editor, and other math tools.
If you don't have a touchscreen device, you may love this one best. Bring up an online slide (in Google Slides or in PowerPoint). Add text, images, shapes, lines, videos, etc. Use that as your whiteboard and record your screen while it's up. Note: If you have the PowerPoint desktop app, you can draw and then turn your writing into editable text, moveable shapes and math equations.
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Whiteboards recordings in an app
Mobile apps -- smartphones and tablets -- have some nice options for online whiteboarding. With both of these, you can draw on a virtual whiteboard -- and it will record video and your voice via your microphone.
Flipgrid app (flipgrid.com)
In your Flipgrid teacher account, click the "Shorts" tab at the top. It's a video recording platform for teachers! Change the background to white or black. Draw, add images and stickers, move them around, and more. Plus, you can swap back to your camera at any time to do a face-to-face explanation. Share the video with students with a link.
Explain Everything or Educreations app
Recording real whiteboards
If the real thing will work, you may not need to go digital. Grab an actual white board or a sheet of paper. Either of these options may work for you!
Use a real whiteboard
There's no shame in using an actual physical white board! Grab a small magnetic white board (like students put in lockers). If you have a wall-sized whiteboard, aim the camera at it and use it! Just be sure your camera is close enough -- and that you're writing big enough -- and that your marker is thick enough -- for students to see.
Use your phone as a document camera
This is a fun hack that's easier than you'd think! Start a video call. Then use a second device -- a smartphone is best -- and join the video call with it. Set the phone on a tall stack of books with the camera facing down at a paper (or small whiteboard). Instant document camera!