Monday, May 4, 2020

Quickly Create Online Whiteboards for Your Students

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week I mentioned a new service called Whiteboard.fi. A few weeks ago I learned about it from Alice Keeler and Larry Ferlazzo. Last week I was able to give it a real try.

Whiteboard.fi lets you create an online room in which each of your students has his or her own whiteboard to draw on. As the teacher, you can see what your students are drawing as they do it. You have the ability to clear students' boards and to kick them out of the room if they are not using their whiteboards as intended. Students are also able to see your whiteboard if you choose to push it out to them.

The whole process of using Whiteboard.fi is outlined in my video below. For those who would prefer to read step-by-step directions instead of watch a video, I have outlined those steps before the video.


Getting started with Whiteboard.fi:
1. Head to the site and click "New Class."
2. Name your class and it will be assigned its own unique URL.
3. Give the URL to your students.
4. Students open the URL and enter a screen name.
5. Students draw on their whiteboards. Their drawings appear on your screen as well as their own.
6. When a students are done with their drawings they exit the room.
7. You can close the room at any time and students won't be able to access it again.

Applications for Education
Whiteboard.fi has the potential to be a good tool to use when you want your students to quickly illustrate how to solve a math problem or you want them to make a simple mind map.

In a remote learning environment Whiteboard.fi could pair well with Google Meet or Zoom. Rather than fumbling around to pass screensharing back and forth between yourself and your students, you can just give them the link to Whiteboard.fi and you can watch all of them sketch or do math problems on your screen in realtime.