Whiteboards are a great option to show a mechanism or diagram thoughts for your class. However, if you're teaching online, they can be tricky to use when not in a classroom. Luckily, there are several whiteboard web-apps that can be used synchronously (e.g., virtual office hours) or asynchronously (e.g., project group assignments). Below is a review of the top three whiteboard web-apps I found.
This application offers the smoothest experience on both mobile and desktop (even writing with a mouse looked good in this one) and can do a lot more than just white boarding. I have used this product before and like it.
Try it at: https://realtimeboard.com/
- Free for teams of 3 (paid tier for larger teams)
- Simple product but still has options
- Boards are endless in all directions
- Has a mobile app (android and iOS) and web app (no installation for web)
- Mobile users can draw and use most tools
- Drawing is smooth for remote users (does not look choppy)
- Boards can be downloaded as a PDF
- Audio and video conferencing in paid tier
- Limited to only a few boards in free tier
- For users to edit your board, you need to invite them via email (it has a Google integration so they can create a free account with their @u addresses)
Northwestern has a campus-wide license for WebEx which has a whiteboard functionality.
Try it at: http://northwestern.webex.com (log in with your NetID then go to My WebEx and Enter Room).
Guide to Whiteboard (from UC): https://kb.uc.edu/KBArticles/WebEx-Whiteboard.aspx (Note step 3B)
- Integrated audio
- Paginated whiteboard
- Can download the whiteboard
- Requires installation of web-browser extension or mobile app
- Mobile users cannot contribute to the whiteboard (desktop only)
- There is a bit of a delay in the drawing from the remote user’s perspective (looks a little choppy)
- Users need to give name and email to enter meeting
A WEB WHITEBOARD APP
Simple, free to use whiteboard app online.
Try it at: https://awwapp.com/
- Anyone with link can join and contribute (no login required)
- Mobile-device (touch) friendly
- Refresh rate of drawings is better than WebEx but still a little choppy
- Free tier has basic tools, advanced tools in paid tier
- No audio conferencing integration
- Cannot download whiteboard in free tier (PDF export in paid tier)
Image credit: Firecloud by Doug Belshaw