digital whiteboard, Distance Learning, Google Slides, PowerPoint, Uncategorized

Free Collaborative Whiteboard Space

I had a teacher email me earlier this week and ask for free solutions to a collaborative whiteboard he could use with Zoom so students could graph but not have to share their screen. There are some cool apps out there like AWW app and Bitpaper. Both of these are amazing, but they also charge a monthly fee. Most of us can’t do that. So you know the old saying, necessity breeds invention.

Here’s a little Schoolhouse Rock video if you need the inspiration:

Ok, to the real meat and potatoes of this post. I suggested he use a collaborative Google Slide and the scribble and line tools or a collaborative PowerPoint365 and the drawing tools. He can share the collaborative slide on Zoom while the student drawing is accessing the “whiteboard” on their computer. Our students are more familiar with Slides, but PowerPoint (sorry Google) does a better job with drawing tools.

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 12.10.49 PM
Slides Scribble Tool
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 12.11.28 PM
PowerPoint Drawing Tool

Slides worked very well for graphs, not as easy for writing (I suggest the text tool)! PowerPoint was awesome for writing but there was a big delay with the image appearing on the shared screen.

You can set the graph as the background so it doesn’t move when students are graphing. I’ve included a little infographic on this process for Slides & PowerPoint.

Set an Image as Background infographic SlidesSet an Image as Background infographic PPT

Another colleague of mine likes to send her kids to the whiteboards every day as a warm-up. Well, using this, it would work the same. You could use it over Zoom (or Meet) but you wouldn’t have to. The cool thing is, it serves the same purpose. Students can look around (on other slides) if they need inspiration and the teacher can give immediate feedback.

Just thought I’d share this little hack we discovered this week.

Stay safe friends!

5 thoughts on “Free Collaborative Whiteboard Space”

  1. Do you have any suggestions for how to create a uno type card game in slides? Can we use the first slide to “hold” the pick from deck and have each student’s individual cards turn up on their slide page. Then have them return them to the front page to play? It needs to be “playable” through a google meet. Thanks, Royelle Mickelson

    1. Thank you. Others have suggested apps and websites that are not free or very limited feee versions. I will definitely take a look at this one.

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