Tag Archives: whiteboard

100 ways to use a VLE – #85 Interactive Whiteboard


One tool which is often used in the physical learning environment is the interactive whiteboard. One tool which is used probably a lot more in a lot of physical learning environments is the traditional whiteboard. Another tool which is well used in training rooms is flip chart paper, even if a lot of the time it is the paper that is used rather than as a flip chart.

Regardless of your feelings about interactive whiteboard, the concept of a large shared working space that learners can contribute to together for writing and drawing is one that is often used in education. It is also a rather challenging concept to embed into online environments.

The easiest solution is to stop thinking about a digital whiteboard, but think about the activity and the learning outcomes and see if a different tool could meet those particular needs. For example a brainstorming activity on the meanings of different words could be undertaken using the Glossary tool in Moodle. A collaborative exercise could be done in a wiki. Drawing a concept map could be done using mind mapping software.

It’s not to say that it’s impossible to use a whiteboard in an online environment, but you would very likely need to link or embed such a tool into the VLE.

Remote delivery solutions such as Adobe Connect and Blackboard Collaborate have a digital whiteboard built in as one of the features. These online whiteboards can be used by the remote delegates to interact with the each other and the teacher. These sessions can often be recorded and then linked to from the VLE to be played back at a later date.

There are various tablet apps, such as Educreations that can be used as a portable digital whiteboard, the final output is saved to the web and can be linked to or embedded into the VLE.

There are other online tools that can be embedded into the VLE, Padlet (the service formerly known as Wallwisher) is an ideal tool that allow multiple users to post comments to a virtual wall.

The whiteboard is a cornerstone of the traditional classroom, as was the blackboard before that, it is a tool that you don’t often see in VLEs, but that’s not to say it isn’t possible to have an interactive whiteboard, just that sometimes you need to think slightly differently.

Educreations – iPad App of the Week

Educations Icon

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

This week’s App is Educreations.

Educreations turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. Creating a great video tutorial is as simple as touching, tapping and talking. Explain a math formula… Create an animated lesson… Add commentary to your photos… Diagram a sports play…

With voice recording, realistic digital ink, photos and text, and simple sharing through email, Facebook or Twitter, now you can broadcast your ideas from anywhere.



There are quite a few so called whiteboard apps. These apps have a blank screen onto which you can write or draw. The session is recorded, along with audio, so that you can play it back later. I was introduced to this app by a colleague at work who has been using it for a while, and I think it’s a really useful app, though it is much more useful if you create a free Educreations account. As well as creating presentations, there are also lots available from other people. As you might expect the quality does vary a lot, but they certainly give you ideas on how the app can be used.

Starting the app you are faced with a blank screen with a toolbar at the top. The process is quite simple, press record, start drawing, press stop, upload, share. The app will record your voice and what you do on the whiteboard.


There are drawing tools and a text tool. So as well as drawing you can also enter (readable) text. You can also import a picture (or diagram) from your camera roll (or use the camera). You can pause the recording, so as you add text and images as you go along without making the animated drawing (or presentation) too long.

The key with using these apps is not to try and record it all in one go, though obviously that is faster. A little preparation will really enhance your animated drawing. It also makes sense to do some planning in advance.

I like the fact that you can have multiple pages. This means you don’t need to try and do everything on one page, but you can prepare pages in advance too.

Another clever way of using the app, is to bring an image from your camera roll. Wikimedia Commons has some fantastic graphics and images that would work really well with this app. Likewise using something like Keynote you could produce some slides to place within your animated drawing.

Once you have finished, you save your work, and then decide where it is going to go. There are various privacy options, from only you can see it, to allowing the world to share in your creation.


You can share the link on your social networks or usefully there is an embed code that allows you to add your drawing to a web page or the VLE.


For me one of the downsides of this app is that you can’t go back and edit what you have done, no chance of correcting mistakes or redoing sections where you messed up. You would need to start all over again. As a result I could not recommend this tool for making long drawings or presentations. Much better to do lots of short drawings rather than one long one.

It might appear that a teacher using the app to create lessons is an ideal way of using the app, but one way that it could be used, if the learners had access to iPads would be for them to create lessons and then see if they could learn from each other. It is often said that one of the best ways of learning is by teaching to others; here is an ideal tool to do just that.

Get Educreations for the iPad in the iTunes App Store.