Online Whiteboards

An Online Whiteboard can be used as a collaborative space for your class. By accessing the whiteboard using a desktop or notebook, students and their teacher can create and work on this shared document in the whiteboard format.

Once you have created the whiteboard, all you need to do is share the link with your students and away you go.

Here are some examples of sites where you can go to create an online whiteboard.


This is the site that will come up first when you google ‘Online Whiteboard’. I haven’t put a link to it because the times that I have tried to open it it just immediately crashed IE and then put some junk on my desktop.


Dabbleboard is the second one to come up. This one works well and provides you with the ability to control elements once they are on the page. Use the freehand button to create drawings or deselect it to create shapes (it’s pretty good at guessing the shape you’re trying to make).

To share your whiteboard with others, click the ‘Invite Others’ link in the box on the right-hand side of the board (see the sharing links section at the bottom of this page).


CoSketch (pictured above) was the most popular in our little PLT trial session. It allowed all of us to collaborate on the board at once and updated itself reasonably frequently. The tools on the left-hand side allow you to change between a drawing tool and a text editor (which works by holding the cursor over the screen where you want to write, creating the text and then pressing enter to place it on the board).

The problem that I have found with this one is that, once something has been put on the board, I couldn’t work out how to edit or change it. One of the good things, on the other hand, is that you can scroll back through the additions that people have made and, by clicking on the entry, undo up until that point.

The Downside

While these boards are great for brainstorming and other collaborative tasks, there is minimal possibility of creating a board for use beforehand. This is because either the board is reset when the main user leaves or after a short time of inactivity (10 mins). There is also no ability to save the boards (in the free versions at least). If you want to create that sort of activity, you are better off to using Smart and the IWB in IT3.

These sites also lack the ability to easily attribute changes to individuals so, if someone graffitis on your board, it will be hard to work out who did it. On the upside, tracking back through the changes can mean that you can easily restore an earlier version of the board from before the offending change was made.


About timthelibrarian

Tim Harwood is a Teacher Librarian and eLearning enthusiast.
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