1 more of my favorite Useful Distance Learning Tools – Microsoft Whiteboard

Distance learning tools - Microsoft Whiteboard

With so many of us dealing with distance learning, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned – what’s important, what’s not particularly useful, and what I can’t live without. There are some great distance learning tools available to teachers, and many of them can be used for in-person instruction as well.

This week I’m going to talk about the Microsoft Whiteboard. Not the one that is built into Teams, but the one that is an app you can download from Microsoft. It’s free and it’s great! When I’m in my classroom, I use my whiteboard every single day. It’s the base of my lessons. I love being able to draw on it, add images, add text, etc. So being online, this is one of the basic distance learning tools I really needed to have.

1 more of my favorite Useful Distance Learning Tools - Microsoft Whiteboard

I started out the first week making PowerPoints, but I didn’t like that for two reasons – it’s really time-consuming to make a PowerPoint for each day and it’s just not as easy to write on as my old whiteboard. That was the case in the classroom as well – although you can annotate on a PowerPoint, it never seemed to work all that well for me.

This week I started using the Microsoft whiteboard app instead. It’s basically an infinite whiteboard. If you’ve ever used Prezi, it feels similar. You can add anything you like – text, images, drawings, etc. You can set the background to different colors and patterns. And there are lots of pens to choose from and you can adjust the width. When you run out of space, you can just drag a little bit and you’ll have new blank space. I like to start the day with a whiteboard that has the new vocabulary typed on it. Then we go over it and I write it in with my pen. Sometimes I’ll have a graphic and then draw over it.

And the best thing is that when I’m finished, I can share the whiteboard with my students! It automatically saves each day so you can reuse and share them as needed. I’ll admit that without my drawing pen/tablet, I probably wouldn’t use the whiteboard as much. But I do think that when I go back to the classroom, I will try to use it and see if it works better than the default board software – I just like having the ability to move things around instead of having to go from page to page. It’s one of the most useful distance learning tools that I’ve tried.

Looking for more distance learning tools? You might like these other posts:

Pandemic teaching - Microsoft OneNote
pandemic teaching - onenote template

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