They aren’t so new any more, but iPads are the exciting choice among schools as the hardware of choice when talking about ‘new’ classroom technology. There are so many different ways you can use them, they’re pretty intuitive, and there’s a growing economy of apps helping you integrate these sexy little tablets into their classrooms.
Something that is talked about less is using your iPad as an interactive whiteboard for your classroom. Turns out there are a number of different apps to aid you on this journey, ranging from free to paid with varying functionality that you may or may not need, depending on exactly what you’d like to do with it.
Here’s some of the best:
Educreations Interactive Whiteboard
Educreations Interactive Whiteboard is a free app that turns your iPad into a recordable interactive whiteboard. You can use photos, text, digital ink, and voice recordings, and your work is easily shareable via email, social media, or on your (free) account on the Educreations website, which allows you to choose who can and can’t see your lessons. A great way to explain concepts step by step with an easy to use interface and basic functionality.
Show Me Interactive Whiteboard
Show Me Interactive Whiteboard is also free, and allows users to record voice over audio for your whiteboard drawings. It’s an especially great way to create lessons and tutorials that both show the progress of say, a math word problem, but also describe the steps with audio to go along with it. The interface is pretty simple, and though it lacks some of the bells and whistles that some of the other apps have (such as real time collaborative ability), it is simple to use, free, and offers a lot of different uses in a classroom setting, making it a particularly useful tool.
Doceri is basically an interactive whiteboard tool that also allows you to do live screencasting, voice over existing documents or pages that you create, control slideshow tools like Keynote or Powerpoint, and control some aspects of your computer remotely. Doceri is free, and it is easy to share your work and present it too.
Groupboard Collaborative Whiteboard
Groupboard Collaborative Whiteboard is probably one of the most aptly named apps out there – the name gives you a great idea of exactly what the app does simply with the name of it. The app allows you to draw, write, and chat in real time on a collaborative whiteboard that can be used for free with up to five users. For more users, they offer paid subscriptions starting at $9.99/month. They also offer a service called Groupboard Designer, which provides a more advanced whiteboard with features such as infinite whiteboard size and multiple pages, starting at $19.99/month. Users can upload images, documents, print their Groupboards, and collaborate as they wish.
WhiteboardHD is a relatively inexpensive paid app ($4.99), that offers users the ability to use free form drawing/writing, pre-made shapes and lines, and you can import images, too. Boards can be shared live to collaborate, or can be saved as multiple file types for further offline collaboration. The app supports external displays (with the iPad VGA adaptor), and also offers integration with file sharing options like Dropbox and Box.net.
Splashtop Whiteboard seems worth mentioning despite its steep price ($19.99) because it is actually pretty nice and offers a couple of cool options. Splashtop offers users of existing interactive white boards such as Mimeo, Mobi, Promethean, Polyvision, or Smart Technologies a way to access their tools from anywhere in the class without using wireless slates. Users also have complete access to programs like Keynote or Powerpoint without being at their computer. It is not a local app, you’ll connect via wifi to your computer in order to use it.
Have you any more? Let us know your favourites in the comments below.
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