As a teacher, have you used Whiteboard.fi before?
Online Whiteboards are important EdTech Tools for today’s classroom setting used to boost collaboration, engagement, and participation. They are used for a wide range of classroom activities, such as writing, painting, drawing, illustrating, etc.
Amongst popular whiteboard applications is Whiteboard.fi: a free online tool for teachers and students to make teaching and learning fun. It is also an instant formative assessment tool for classroom activities, providing teachers with live feedback and an overview of each student. With Whiteboard.fi, every student can participate in activities, even the shy ones who would not talk in a physical classroom.
Teachers can create a class and let students join, using a link, room code, or QR code. Then everyone will get an individual digital whiteboard, where they can draw, write text, make notations on images, add math equations, and more.
However, every student has access to an individual whiteboard, which is visible for that student and the teacher. This means that a student cannot see his/her neighbor’s whiteboard, but the teacher can. Teachers can switch between projecting their whiteboard to the class and observing all student whiteboards. Teachers can also save all student whiteboard images as a PDF file locally to the device in use.
How To Navigate Whiteboard.fi
When you go to the website, you will see two options; either start a new class or join a class. As a teacher, select “New Class.”
- Create a new class and share the room code with your students. The room code is a different, random code each time you start a new room. Note that the room code is only valid for the active session, so you cannot reuse the same room code.
- Then give your class a name and click “Create class.” You will automatically receive a URL that will be sent to students so they can join your class. One beautiful thing about this tool is that it does not require students to create an account or manage passwords. The teacher could also provide the code in the top corner of the screen to have students join.
- When students join, they can enter their names to aid identification when necessary. And on the student’s end, they can see their teacher’s whiteboard and switch to the other tab to see their own.
- The teacher and students can work within their whiteboards, using the tools on the side to support their work. The teacher can switch to the “my class” tab to see all of their students’ boards in one location.
Through the settings bar, here are some options for each whiteboard session:
- Kick: Removes the person from the class immediately.
- Erase: Clears the whiteboard.
- Push: Pushes the teacher’s whiteboard to a specific student or the entire class. When the teacher writes a problem or task on the board, it is instantly sent to every student in the room. This option also allows students to work on the problem independently, while the teacher can monitor their progress and provide support by writing on the student’s board. The teacher can access, write on a student’s work, and add helpful text feedback to enable students to work independently.
- Hide Names: During a live session, this option allows teachers to hide the names of each student’s board to protect their identity when reviewing answers or sharing screens. This does not only boost engagement but helps students feel relaxed and secure while learning.
- Clear All Whiteboards: This is used to simultaneously clear all whiteboards.
- Close Room: This tool is used to remove everyone from the session and prevent them from returning even if they use the link or enter the code.
- Leave Room: This allows a student to leave the whiteboard classroom.
- Save Whiteboard: Students can save a screenshot of their work for viewing even after the whiteboard session is ended.
Using Whiteboard.fi for synchronous learning
The following are some interesting ways to use Whiteboard.fi to keep students engaged during synchronous sessions:
- Word Practice: Whiteboard.fi allows students to engage in wordplay – spelling words, identifying morphemes, and syllable division. After completing the major class activity, teachers can introduce word practice to keep students engaged and improve their vocabulary. The teacher can push out an unknown word and have students divide them into morphemes to figure out the definition or use syllable division to decode the word.
- Problem Solving: The teacher can give out a problem and monitor students as they solve it, offering support and guidance when necessary. This activity could also lead to an introduction of a new math topic.
- Diagrams: Allowing students to add shapes and text, freestyle draw, and change colors makes Whiteboard.fi perfect for drawing diagrams. Students could draw something for science or make a timeline of events for history. They could even participate in a synchronous digital drawing session for art. Keeping them engaged via this method also opens their eyes to possibilities and opportunities in drawing and diagramming.
Benefits of using Whiteboard.fi
- It is free for students. However, teachers need upgrade to activate some functions. No third parties, no ads, and every information is deleted once the room is closed.
- Whiteboard.fi works on any device, as no installation or downloads are required.
- Teachers can control who enters the classroom and can also lock the room when necessary.
- It allows maximum interaction.
- Whiteboard.fi has many versatile tools for students and teachers.
- It has a math editor that allows for mathematical representations.
- Students’ whiteboard images can be saved locally as a PDF on the device in use.
- It also has a co-teach option that allows two or more teachers to collaborate on the same whiteboard, and each teacher can access every student’s board.
- There is a library that allows teachers and students to prepare, save and reuse whiteboards.
- It facilitates healthy student-teacher relationships during each session.
- Allows for real-time feedback.