Whiteboards have long been a de rigeur staple in classrooms, occupying pride-of-place at the front of the room. Despite the popularity of hi-tech Smartscreens, the simple whiteboard remains the favored method of sharing information during class time.
But one change has revolutionized their use: They can now be projected from your iPad. Before introducing three amazing must-have whiteboard apps, let me note that there are dozens of options, all with varied traits and prices. I selected these three because they are intuitive, multi-functional, and work as a classroom tool rather than just another new widget teachers must learn.
Free to try
AirSketch is a basic, uncomplicated whiteboard that lets you do anything you’d normally do on a whiteboard. It’s similar to web-based options like Miro with two dramatic differences: It works through a iPad and can be mirrored to a computer (and from there, the class screen). This untethers teachers from their desk. All that’s needed is an iPad, AirSketch, a class computer, and a class screen.
Free to try
SyncSpace is a sharable, zoomable, collaborative whiteboard for iPads, mobile devices, laptops, and computers. Students work together on a drawing (using a finger or stylus), math problem, how-to, or a mindmap by adding illustrations, text, and/or pictures.
ShowMe is an interactive whiteboard app that allows drawing, handwriting, text, and voice-over. Users construct a series of linked slides, save them as a video, and then share with others either publicly or privately. The learning curve is shallow and intuitive for anyone who has used iPad apps in the past.
Need more options? Check this out (click here for updated list):
- Canvas–Google app for simple drawing
- Doceri–collaborate, turn into a movie (app)
- Draw Chat–virtual meeting with a whiteboard
- Educreations–whiteboard and screencasts
- Explain Everything
- GroupBoard–collaborate over the internet–up to five people; basic free, then fee
- IPEVO–draw and annotate directly onto real-time camera image from your iPad, images in the Photo Library, or a blank whiteboard
- Limnu–online whiteboard, collaborative, add text/notes, save as screenshot
- Miro–a multimedia notetaker where you can collect information on a whiteboard to share with others
- Notebookcast–a free multiuser whiteboard in your browser
- Stoodle–no log-in or sign-up, share link to invite others; on desktops and iPads
- Whiteboard HD
- Witeboard–no account required
- Whiteboard Chat–no registration or login; leave it open for collaborastion
- Whiteboard.fi–basic white board; no logins and no saving (without a screenshot)
Each of these apps fulfills what I look for in an app, but in different ways. Some are collaborative; others allow for a voice-over which is perfect for lesson plans. At least one has a robust online community with lots of resources shared by other teachers. Review all three and pick the one that is best suited to your classroom needs.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.