A picture is worth a thousand words. A well-known adage in the English language, it reveals to us the power of illustrating thought and conveying ideas via an image. Perhaps this is the reason why whiteboards have been in use for so long, as one of the most effective teaching tools of all time. With the encroaching reach of the digital era and quarantine measures held all over the world, our ability to teach using a physical whiteboard has been limited. This presents a difficulty for tutors like you and me to teach effectively, especially when it comes to kids and young children, who possess limited attention spans, are drawn to visual stimuli and can be playful at times. But fear not! We have an online whiteboard recommendation that is bound to impress and meet your needs. As a digital solution to a digital problem, online whiteboards serve as useful and convenient tools for tutors’ usage in online lessons or enrichment classes. Useful whiteboards for kids to use.
When assessing the ideal online whiteboard that can be used to teach children, we kept a few key features in mind. The online whiteboard platform must be user-friendly and intuitive for kids to use, there must be the ability to annotate (both tutor and child), and there ideally should be different permission levels to control usage over the board. This is where HeyHi comes in, with its power-packed whiteboard that is ideal for tutoring children and young kids.
As an online whiteboard application that aims to empower online learning for kids and more mature students alike, you can expect the Heyhi whiteboard to possess all the fundamental tools of a good online whiteboard application. Customizable tools like pen and highlighter, different colours to work with, tabs for multiple pages and image/PDF upload features, Heyhi has it all. When considering device platforms, Heyhi works on any device: laptops, tablets, mobile devices, and most operating systems. The login process is also streamlined to make it easy and user-friendly, an essential feature when considering whiteboard for children and kids. The video below shows how easy it is to log in to an online class, a user-friendly online whiteboard for kids indeed!
Heyhi has observed some pain points which educators may experience when holding large online classes. These are the pain of housekeeping, attendance tracking and monitoring students when they leave the online whiteboard page. Educators need to track if their students turn up for classes, whether they come on time (or when they come online), if they are paying attention (we know that it can be difficult retaining the attention of students over a virtual platform), and if any students have consistent exits from the teaching page. Other online whiteboard platforms tend to only serve the basic functionalities of a collaborative interface, without concern for monitoring attendance checks, exits or duration of presence. Those other online whiteboards would serve professional or higher education students well but fall short when it comes to the provision of a simple to use and intuitive online whiteboard for kids and educators teaching children. To tackle that problem, we have an attendance tracking feature that automatically logs the name of students and the time they come for online class, the number of exits they have, as well as the duration of time they were on the page. This saves precious class time and reduces the need for educators to constantly monitor and keep track of students. By using the automatic attendance check feature, tutors can easily follow up on inattentive students, or students that face technical difficulties by reaching out to them. Here is an example of how the attendance tracking interface looks like.
Whiteboard with Interaction
The online whiteboard is created with interaction in mind – tutors and students can both use the online whiteboard to answer or raise questions, draw diagrams, or write down their thoughts. When teaching young children, an interactive whiteboard can be utilised to great effect for any class. There are intuitive controls for colours, a pen icon to indicate writing, and an eraser icon to indicate the tool that allows for erasing of your writing. For young kids, the user-friendly display, and options for writing in different colours may serve as a beneficial learning tool. Different colours can be used to indicate different concepts or identify the speaker. This makes learning more fun and engaging, a necessary ideal when teaching young children. You can be sure that Heyhi’s online interactive whiteboard for kids can be utilised to great effect in online classes.
To begin, students can log into class simply by keying in the access code for the class. The access code is a private code, unique to each class session, preserving the privacy of each session and ensuring that only students and tutors have access to the online whiteboard. Heyhi’s whiteboard for kids values the privacy of the classroom setting, and the access code serves as a layer of protection for unwanted intruders, such as the Zoombombing cases that occurred in April earlier this year. Once the students have logged into the class session, they also have the option of using their mobile devices as a writing tablet on Heyhi. This means that even without an Ipad, android or Wacom tablet, students can use their fingers on their phones to interact on the online whiteboard like styluses. This reduces the need for students to buy expensive styluses, as the simplicity of finger to phone screen is all the students need to interact with the online whiteboard. To open up their phone as a platform for the screen, all they have to do is scan a QR code that opens up the same online whiteboard. From there, they can simply write on the online board on their phones, and the writing will be reflected on the shared main board!
With intuitive and easy to understand toggles on the bottom panel, the toolbar contains features such as the pen, highlighter, colour changes, text, shapes, picture/PDF uploads, screenshot button and a search function. There are also options for multiple pages/boards (on the top left), and video conferencing options on the bottom right corner. The interface of the online whiteboard looks like this:
Far from merely possessing the basic whiteboard features, Heyhi also packs a punch with its online real time audio and video conferencing, instant messaging and screen sharing features. The online whiteboard can be used in tandem with classes that use video conferencing, such that online classes are more engaging and interactive, as tutors and students can engage in conversation and see one another, albeit over a screen. With the shared screen feature, tutors are able to display the content they want, whilst drawing on the content displayed on the online whiteboard and lecturing at the same time. Students can also respond to the material by raising questions in real time or typing them out in the instant messaging chat box, or by writing it out on the whiteboard. With an upload option, students and tutors can also insert images and files containing homework, completed assignments, or learning material onto the whiteboard. 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. Heyhi’s whiteboard for kids allows for efficient learning, much interactive space, and storage of content for future revision.
An example of how a child can use the Heyhi online whiteboard for math class is seen below:
We understand that tutors also need control of the whiteboard to prevent playful fingers from erasing all the content on the board or disrupting lessons. When dealing with kids, educators know the perils of leaving interactive material unmonitored, as the natural curiosity of kids and their desire to interact can derail the lessons. To better protect your lessons and the online whiteboard, Heyhi has features for tutors to lock the students’ screens if so desired, to minimize their interaction on the whiteboard when its time to listen to the tutor. This prevents any unnecessary movement of the whiteboard by accident, or undesired scribbling on the board.
To cater to educators who take a more lecture-style approach to teaching, Heyhi also has a new feature, a 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. Notable features include a segmentation of view, where participants in the Lecture+ conference will be able to see the tutor and utilise the whiteboard and chat functions but are prevented from seeing and hearing other participants. This contributes to a focused view where there are lowered noise levels and reduced opportunities for distraction by students. This way, participants are more likely to focus on the teaching presentation in a lecture, prevent unnecessary distractions from unwanted sounds like chatter or whispering, as well as possess higher privacy levels as other students cannot see them. If you are an educator that takes the lecture-style approach, the Lecture+ feature that Heyhi offers is valuable addition to the online interactive whiteboard feature, one that you would not want to miss out on.
What if you already have an existing video conferencing application of choice and just need an online whiteboard to boost your classes? Heyhi can also be used in tandem with Zoom and other video conferencing applications of your choice. As long as there are screen sharing options in the video conferencing application, Heyhi can be used to provide a seamless online whiteboard interaction for you and your students. 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, the ideal online whiteboard for kids to use in classes.
With these features, you can now understand why Heyhi is the right choice for online whiteboards. With a user-friendly, intuitive interface and powerful features for tutors to carry out their classes, Heyhi provides a useful tool with features 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!