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5 Reasons Why An Online Whiteboard Is Now Essential For Teaching

When it comes to tutoring online, it’s easy to get stuck sharing a screen and going through the motions, but that is not the experience that students want, nor will they pay the big bucks for an ordinary experience. Students want collaboration and for it to be as natural online as it is in person. This is where a specialist whiteboard for online tutoring can really help you set yourself apart from the competition.

There are a number of reasons an interactive online whiteboard is an essential piece of software for an online teacher but we’re going to focus on the big five:

1. Encourage online participation;
2. Auto-record your notes;
3. Engage the senses with multimedia resources;
4. Bring Your Lesson Materials to Life;
5. Manage the attention & pace of the class.


Encourage Online Participation

Every teacher on the planet got a crash course in teaching online with the pandemic in 2020. Every teacher quickly figured out how they could do largely the same kind of class online, as they could in-person and by using the screen share feature, to present materials and ideas to their students. The big problem is that this approach of presenting by screen sharing can often make the class boring, passive and ineffective.

Image Zoom Lecture

Just as teachers like to teach in a “class room”, rather than a “meeting room”, online teachers like to teach in a classroom, rather than an online conferencing room. Why? Because you have all of your tools, resources, notes, whiteboard, pens, activities and more all in the one place. On top of that, just as they would in a physical classroom - teachers can invite students to join in drawing, writing or editing the whiteboard.

Furthermore, just as in-person teachers it is no longer best practice to stand up the front of the class and lecture their pupils, online teachers rarely should simply present their powerpoints via screen share to their online students. After all, if the students cannot collaborate or participate with the teacher, the student might as well just be watching a pre-recorded video and this has a vastly different value proposition.

Teachers, both online and in-person, need to be engaging, interactive and encourage participation. Students retain more information through participating in the learning process, rather than just passively being taught by the teacher. Whilst screen sharing enables the tutor to show the lesson materials, a virtual whiteboard allows the teacher to share the lesson with the student - engaging them in activity and two-way activity via the online whiteboard.

A virtual whiteboard is the new centrepiece for a virtual classroom because it facilitates real-time participation and engages students on a different level.

LearnCube Interacive Online Whiteboard-1

Auto-record Your Notes

The ease of recording your class is one benefit of an online classroom, but the ease of recording notes is a large benefit of a virtual whiteboard. All the annotations made on a modern interactive online whiteboard can be saved, or auto-saved, for future review.

This is a real boon for all stakeholders of a class:
1. The teachers gets to save all of the notes effortlessly and for example on LearnCube’s Whiteboard, can reload those notes into a future class.
2. The managers or owners of a school, can often access the notes on the whiteboard to more time-efficiently review what is/was being taught and get a snapshot of how the teacher approached the lesson.
3. The students can save the notes for future review and it is much easier to search instantly available written notes on an online whiteboard, than dig into hours of video recordings.
4. If parents are a stakeholder, then whiteboard notes can provide evidence of learning, and a confident, professional teacher.


Engage the Senses with Multimedia Resources

A physical whiteboard is in effect just a fancy piece of paper that is easier for a group of people to see. That’s what a whiteboard replaced; the blackboard with chalk and/or a large piece of paper with a marker.

An online whiteboard is not constrained in the same way. It’s possible in many of the best virtual whiteboards to embed videos and audio into the whiteboard so that a teacher can play an educational video or audio file. The fact that a class is online also opens up the almost limitless resources of the internet. Think of how much you can access between free resources such as YouTube and Khan Academy.

You don’t have to have one whiteboard either. Online teachers can have multiple whiteboards, or whiteboard tabs, that teachers can switch between instantly. These whiteboards become canvases for any media you might want: PDFs, video, audio, YouTube, Google Docs and more.

Add multimedia to whiteboard

Bring Your Lesson Materials to Life

One of the most common formats for online lesson materials remains PDFs for a very good reason. A PDF, a Portable Document Format, has become possibly the most reliable way “to present and exchange documents - regardless of the software, hardware, or operating systems being used by anyone who views the document.” A teacher these days can create slides in Google Slides or Canva and download them into a PDF which can be shared and presented by anyone.

Modern whiteboards will generally allow users to overlay images and annotations on top of the materials. This can turn an otherwise simple PDF into the backdrop of an unforgettable lesson.

The best online whiteboards for education are those that also provide tools for specific subjects. Math tools could include graphing paper, line-tool and angle-tool. For math and sciences, Wolfram Alpha tool provides access to visual elements and formulas. For languages, you may want instant conjugation tables, different class modes or an advanced content library.

For those teachers or online schools with more technical and curriculum resources, there is a temptation to go further by creating even more interactive content using HTML5. Interactive content might enable drag & drop activities and games which are especially good for kids who find a mouse harder to use to write or draw. The downside, is that while the technology is getting better, it can require more skills and investment to make these resources, and keep them updated, compared to using PDFs.

Whiteboard image with math toolsManage the Attention & Pace of the Class

With the ability for teachers to present lesson materials, bring classes to life with video & audio files, and for students to participate in real-time too, it becomes important also for online whiteboards to be controlled, or moderated, by the teacher.

A good online whiteboard will allow a teacher to lock a whiteboard to stop students writing with abandon, or to sync playback of videos/audio files for all participants in an online classroom.

These are new affordances compared to physical whiteboards that are easy to forget but can be put to incredible use.

The LearnCube Whiteboard

We hope that you’re inspired by the possibilities of tutoring or teaching online. Our team is devoted to improving the quality of online tutoring & language teaching and you can learn more about the LearnCube Whiteboard here. If you’re also interested in having your whiteboard, integrated with reliable video conferencing, check out our Virtual Classroom too.

There’s a lot to learn but don’t forget the 3 best bits about LearnCube’s Online Whiteboard:
1. Advanced content library accessible from the whiteboard to make it easy to manage and access all your resources in one place.
2. Ability to auto-save whiteboard notes and reload them into future classes or be saved as learning sets.
3. Seamless, intuitive user experience that teachers, students and online school administrators find easy to pick up and run with.

We wish you every success and happy teaching!


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