We all understand the intuitive use for a good online interactive whiteboard. Whether it be for online tutoring, school classes, work meetings or group projects, the interface of a whiteboard helps us to clearly illustrate ideas and present our thoughts. There are many benefits in utilising interactive online whiteboards. With the Circuit Breaker in place and lockdowns happening in many other parts of the world, online interactive whiteboards help to bridge the communication gap and physical distance that we have to face.
In the market for good interactive whiteboards, AWW App is rather popular. It is marketed for both educational and business usage, although it is frequently used by educators and students alike.
To begin, we take a closer look at Aww App.
Aww App is an online interactive whiteboard designed for collaborative usage. Teachers can display learning content on the board, write notes and draw attention using the writing tools and students can respond immediately using coloured words and virtual post-its.
Some features of Aww App include:
- An assignment dashboard
- Customizable lesson templates
- Export of lesson materials
- Management of editing rights on the whiteboard
- Tracking of collaborators
AWW App can also be used in tandem with Zoom. Here is a short video illustrating how to use them together. While Zoom does have its own in-app whiteboard, some prefer AWW App’s whiteboard interface and functions. The ability to integrate a user-friendly whiteboard with a video-conferencing application of your choice might be a necessity when trying to conduct classes or online tutoring online.
The Basic version is free to use but limits the features available to the user, as you are not able to save boards, have multiple pages, manage your participants, have PDF uploads, and the boards also disappear after 2 hours of inactivity. There are also advertisements shown in the free Basic version, whereas the Premium one removes ads. Some reviews of AWW App point at some limitations which it possess, such as the lack of sync ability with Google Drive, pixelated PDF quality and the occasional lag in the display of writing to another screen. If these are features that you value, AWW App might fall short of your expectations, despite its other useful features.
With different types of products, their strengths and limitations might not suit your usage. Differing teaching styles and preferences in user tools can make the search for the perfect online whiteboard frustrating. As such, we have compiled 6 alternatives to AWW App in the market for online interactive whiteboard for you. These remain non-exhaustive but provide a good place to start your exploration and search for the perfect online interactive whiteboard for teaching.
6 alternatives to AWW App in the market for online interactive whiteboard
Limnu is an online whiteboard service that displays promising potential for educators’ usage. It can be used in conjunction with other video conferencing applications or with its own video conferencing feature, providing a whiteboard space that does not have restrictions on edge boundaries. What does that mean? It means that the “board” can be continuously expanded or shrunk to fit your ideas, notes and material. As an application built for teams, the whiteboard can handle groups, with security and admin controls for control over access. Limnu also boasts fast refresh rates so that writing by teachers and students can be visible without delay.
However, the application really only opens up on the monthly paid plans. On the free plan, it is not possible to save your work, save for a screenshot of everything on the board. Limnu also lacks the feature for you to import PowerPoint slides. If your teaching relies on the sharing of PowerPoint slide content, the Limnu online whiteboard might not be as helpful.
Below is a video illustrating the user interface of Limnu.
Ziteboard is another one of the many interactive online whiteboard services that one can consider. The application was developed with distanced education in mind and the strengths of Ziteboard include its user-friendly interface that values simplicity for smooth real time visual collaboration.
Features we appreciate include the ability to display PDF files in a drag and drop format, a tool for locking content on the board (such that it becomes neither selectable nor removeable from the whiteboard), video and audio chat capabilities and a export function that allows you to save your work or teaching as a high resolution PDF file.
The free version allows you to keep 3 boards with limited data traffic, only one-page PDF import, no text/audio/video and only 3 basic colours to use. With a premium plan, you get higher quality image import, the audio, video and text chat functions, amidst many other features.
Another online whiteboard tool to keep your eye on, Whiteboard.fi offers instant access to a whiteboard without any registration or installation needed. It only requires your students to click on a class code to enter the class. It works on all devices and can be used for teachers to give live feedback in assignments and class work. Whiteboard.fi allows the teacher to observe the whiteboard of the students, while the students are only able to view the teacher’s whiteboard and their own. This feature helps to retain the integrity of students answers as they are not able to cheat off the answers of their peers if they are unsure, such that the tutor is better able to realise the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s true understanding. This allows the tutor to observe the workings and thought process of the students when utilized to test students’ understanding.
It is also free to use with no paywalled functions. However, some limitations of the app are that the whiteboards get deleted after closing a class and there are no options for you to upload PDF or PowerPoint slides as a template to build the class upon. If your whiteboard was not screen saved before closing, you stand to lose valuable teaching material that students could use to revise or review.
LiveBoard markets itself as an online educational whiteboard that allows for collaboration and interaction. It has many of the usual features that you would expect of an online whiteboard application, such as video and audio conferencing, in-app messaging support, a user-friendly interface and image sharing. A new feature recently included is that of a recording function. Educators are now able to record their lessons for later review and sharing. A feature that students can definitely stand to benefit from. On some of its limitations, however, the lack of a mute function for students might affect some tutors. In an on-going lesson for example, the noise from background sources or accidental feedback may disrupt lesson flow.
The free plan only allows for 2 participants, which might pose a challenge to larger tutoring groups or classes. With the paid plans, you can have an unlimited number of participants, boards, groups, storage, and PDF import as well as exports, depending on the type of plan.
TutorRoom is an online school management software platform that boasts the function of virtual classrooms and multiple other features that make it user-friendly. These include an online whiteboard application with video-calling, a list of upcoming classes, courses and lessons, scheduling capabilities and even online payment. As an online school management software, the wide range of features and options under one application make TutorRoom an attractive option for enrichment centres or school usage. The usage of TutorRoom is also fuss-free, as one does not have to set up any application or download any programs. It also has customization options for the tutor that desires to build his/her dream Edtech software.
However, some consider the subscription fee to be high, as it comes equipped with multiple features. If you only desire a good online interactive whiteboard for teaching online, the extra features might not be necessary.
Heyhi is a reliable, power-packed interactive online whiteboard application that should draw your attention. With all the fundamental tools of a good whiteboard application, Heyhi boasts real time audio and visual conferencing, instant messaging and even screen sharing. With an intuitive shared screen, tutors are able to display the content they want, whilst drawing on the content and lecturing at the same time. It is also interactive in that participants or students can insert images and files containing homework, completed assignments, or learning material for you to inspect. The multiple tabs at the top left of the page allows for efficient working space and separation of views and screenshots can also be taken for easy storage of notes and learning material.
Tutors are also given control of the online whiteboard. If so desired, tutors can lock students’ screens to minimize their interaction on the whiteboard at lecture time. This prevents any unnecessary movement of the whiteboard by accident, or undesired scribbling on the board. On top of that, Heyhi has an attendance tracking feature that logs the name of students and the time they come to class, the number of exits they have, as well as the duration of time they were on the page. This way, educators can spend precious time teaching rather than doing housekeeping or monitoring the students. Here is an example of what the attendance check interface looks like:
Heyhi can also be used in tandem with Zoom and other video-conferencing applications. Simply screenshare using Zoom, and relay instructions to carry out a seamless class online. As many educators and schools are already using Zoom to conduct lessons, Heyhi can work smoothly with zoom to increase the interactivity of a lesson that relies on the sharing of information between student and tutor. With the one-step easy login process, educators can begin a class in minutes, reducing the need for students (especially younger students) to fumble with complicated login steps or application download procedures. Educators can also upload PDFs and images to discuss on the class whiteboard, with image annotation capabilities. Simply upload class material and write around or on it!
Apart from the usual whiteboard feature, Heyhi also has a new meeting mode called Lecture+. The meeting mode allows you to have a meeting with up to 12 users, including the host, where the video-conferencing layout is tailored specifically for a lecture style setting. What are some special features of this layout? These include lowered noise levels and reduced opportunities for distraction by students. Participants in the lecture+ conference are able to see the tutor and utilise the various whiteboard and chat functions but will not be allowed to see and hear other participants. This way, participants are more likely to focus on the teaching presentation in a lecture and prevent unnecessary distractions. Moreover, the focused view also contributes to higher privacy levels. If you are an educator that relies on lecture-style teaching, Heyhi presents a valuable feature on top of the usual interactive whiteboard that you don’t want to miss.
When considering what kind of online interactive whiteboard to use, the internet does provide an array of wide-ranging choices. It would be wise to start thinking of the features you value most and the price you or your organization is willing to pay for the online whiteboard service. Is it control over the whiteboard to help students stay focused? Do you require an in-app video or audio conferencing feature? What about added features like attendance tracking or lecture-styled teaching modes? Heyhi offers many of the desired features and services that many educators appreciate. What’s more, we offer free usage till the end of May 2020. Book a demo with us to experience it for yourself!