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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Collaborative Whiteboards

I like collaborative whiteboards because they are novel and haven't yet run out of steam with students, plus they have a high cool factor for middle school kids. The trick is not to give students too much time to mess around with them and make the assignments short and to-the-point. In the past I've played with Bai Board and Whiteboard Lite (there are a ton more) but a new one that's come along is pretty easy to use and does not require a login to use. Before I tell you about the app I'll tell you that the coolest part is that it was created by three teenagers.

Stoodle (not the best name, but it's free!) is a collaborative whiteboard that's as simple to use as clicking on the "Launch a Classroom" button. They you can share the URL with someone and they are in. You can add text, draw, change colors, add images, and, this is cool, you can turn on your microphone and have a chat with the other users. None of the other whiteboard sites or apps that I've looked at can do that. A good friend of mine refers to that as HNL (Hole Notha Level), hard spelling for a Language Arts teacher to swallow, but fitting. I've used collaborative whiteboards as a brainstorming tool and a collaborative drawing session where each student has a different color so I can quickly gauge their participation. But FreeTech4Teachers suggests using it as an impromptu peer tutoring tool. Give Stoodle a try and impress your friends!

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