Are you a math teacher looking for a free online whiteboard? Unsure of which online whiteboard has the most suitable tools and creates the most conducive classroom environment for math lessons in particular? Tired of trying out all the different whiteboards to find the best fit? Look no further for this article is for you!
WHY AN ONLINE WHITEBOARD?
Learning mathematics is extremely important as it develops in students the critical ability to learn and think logically in any field of endeavor in the future. While the recent COVID-19 pandemic has kickstarted the global shift to adapt teaching and learning practices online, this does not mean that the quality of math education has to decline. Thanks to the plethora of incredible technologies we have today, math teachers can still use traditional tools that have worked best for many students in physical classrooms while online, namely, the whiteboard.
Whiteboards have been and will stay a quintessential feature of any physical classroom because it provides students and teachers with a proper space to pen down equations to follow mathematical steps and reasonings, as well as visualize concepts by using drawn diagrams. Not only has this been proven to be one of the best strategies for teaching and learning math by improving knowledge retention, it also makes lessons more interesting and engaging, cultivating crucial interest in math (rather than fear) in order to maximize your students’ potential. “How do I translate this online?” you may ask.
It is our pleasure to introduce to you HeyHi Whiteboard!
HeyHi’s online whiteboard is a one-of-a-kind online teaching tool that can function both as an independent platform or as a complementary service to your video conferencing app. Specially designed with educators and students in mind, HeyHi is an application through which teachers can host virtual classes with a shareable whiteboard as its dominant feature. Below are 6 reasons why it is one of the best, free online whiteboards for math tutoring in the market!
1. EXPANDABLE CANVAS MEANS INCREASED EFFICIENCY
User shifts to another section of HeyHi’s whiteboard to continue writing. Gif created on imgPlay
HeyHi Whiteboard allows you and your students to reap the benefits of a whiteboard in a virtual classroom, and even at higher levels of efficiency. For one, unlike traditional whiteboards, HeyHi’s whiteboard is expandable. Teachers can simply zoom out or swipe to shift to another section of the board to enlarge the canvas. This means fewer interruptions to you and your students’ train of thoughts. You can also create new whiteboard pages without affecting the current pages worth of work. After class, students can download everything that has been written on the whiteboard for easy future references.
These days, speed pressure, timed testing and blind memorization pose high hurdles in the pursuit of math. An expandable whiteboard helps counter this as when students are no longer pressured to hurriedly copy notes that risk being deleted as the class moves on, they are reassured and can pay full attention to the lesson content. This ultimately helps them learn to enjoy the process of learning math rather than approaching the subject as a race to find answers mindlessly.
2. CONDUCIVE INTERFACE
HeyHi’s online whiteboard. Photo by HeyHi.
What sets HeyHi’s online whiteboard apart from other similar services is its unique user interface that is specially designed to improve students’ focus on class contents. Upon entering the virtual classroom on HeyHi, students will immediately see a gridded whiteboard that fills up the entire screen with the faces of their teachers and classmates only on the right margin of the screen. This deliberate placement ensures that the video images of other participants are less conspicuous, which allows the student to invest their full attention into the class content being displayed on the whiteboard. Hence, HeyHi’s virtual classroom provides students with a conducive learning environment with all possible distractions minimised.
3. ENCOURAGES COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AMONG STUDENTS
Screenshot of HeyHi’s online whiteboard
Besides stressing less on memorization and the use of calculators, another way to improve today’s math education is to shift the objective of education from one where it is every-man-for-himself, to one where students work collectively to achieve goals. HeyHi’s whiteboard provides this exact avenue for students to exercise their collaborative spirit through the completion of group activities with their peers. Teachers will be able to upload images and files for group exercises, and students can join forces to cross-check their understanding of course content. This value-adds their online learning experience by helping them gain confidence in themselves as well as the invaluable soft skill of teamwork in the process, which is beneficial for them in the long run as it helps them become individuals who can learn and think creatively and critically.
4. SERVES TEACHERS WELL TOO
Left: Student books an online consult with the teacher. Gif created by the writer on imgPlay.
Right: Screenshot of HeyHi’s attendance taking tool
Now, enough about the students; the developers at HeyHi whiteboard have not forgotten about the teachers either. With the aim to lighten educators’ workload and stress, HeyHi whiteboard goes above and beyond to take care of your administrative matters. Teachers can leverage HeyHi’s in-built calendaring system to effortlessly schedule and deconflict online consultation timings. During video conferences, HeyHi also takes the students’ attendance for you, which can be tedious to do manually for every class. With all the time that is freed up, teachers can now focus better on producing quality course content and offer more guidance to their students as needed.
Loom’s screen recording interface. Photo by Loom.
With so many classes a day, it can be challenging to keep a record of all that is explained in each of your lessons. Fortunately, HeyHi’s online whiteboard’s ability to save materials after class for future references also benefits teachers by allowing them to send these materials to absent students to catch up on class materials without the need to organise a lot of extra make-up lessons. While online whiteboard recording for HeyHi has not been implemented yet, you can easily solve this by recording your sessions with tools such as Loom, Panopto, and Quicktime (Here is an in-depth guide on how to create an online whiteboard recording and a useful list of six free software for recording video lectures).
5. UNIQUELY MULTI-PURPOSE
Because HeyHi is an extremely versatile online whiteboard software, it can still be extremely useful even after we exit the COVID-19 pandemic and our virtual classrooms in the future. HeyHi can double as a tool to produce educational videos which can be used to supplement your physical lessons. On HeyHi’s online whiteboard, teachers can write and illustrate their ideas to create pre-recorded videos of lesson contents which can then be easily played back to aid students’ revisions at home. In both virtual and physical classrooms, HeyHi’s got your back.
6. FREE OF CHARGE AND SECURE
Last but definitely not the least, the most critical feature of HeyHi is its attractive price point. The app can be accessed through browsers for free, and is also free for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This makes it highly accessible for you and your students.
Users on the free subscription plan can set up a virtual classroom for up to four participants, making this the ideal app for facilitating small group consultations to clear up mathematical misconceptions or have in-depth discussions to explore more advanced topics. You can also invite up to 100 participants for webinars. You can refer to HeyHi’s pricing page for more information on the different subscription tiers.
Also, rest assured that developers at HeyHi do not take security lightly. Even though the app is free, no resources are held back to make HeyHi’s online whiteboard a safe learning environment. It is compulsory for all online lessons to be accessible only by a Meeting ID and access code. There are also regular reminders not to reuse existing sessions. While some tutors may find this troublesome, the security of users are of utmost priority, and HeyHi’s additional layers of protection are necessary and reassuring. Parents need not worry about their children being affected by hackers with malicious intent.
As teaching methods evolve and improve, math educators must also keep up to ensure that only the best is provided for our students, pandemic or not. One such method is to integrate available technologies, such as online whiteboards, to provide students with more hands-on and effortful learning in order to spark their curiosity and enjoyment of learning math.
If you’re an math educator looking for a way to conduct your lessons remotely, HeyHi is a one-stop solution that can help you create the most suitable virtual classroom for your students through the use of some of HeyHi’s best features regardless of whether you are on the paid subscription or not, making it one of the most attractive options in the market.