Ask Mister Moodle: Can I use a white board with Moodle?


Here’s a recent question about Moodle which I think has a couple different answers: Can I use a white board with Moodle?

First off, it depends on if you mean a physical Whiteboard/Smartboard with Moodle.  In that case, yes kinda.  Early in my career as a Moodle trainer around the state of Vermont one of the teachers I was working with had asked the same question and we worked out an easy process for him to upload the Smartboard files for each day of class (so students always had access to the examples he laid out and could go back and review).  Creating a Directory to host these daily files exported from the Smartboard system was a great way to display without adding too many links to the page.

Now, if the teacher wants to use an online whiteboard space the answer gets a little more complicated.  There are lots of paid whiteboard integrations and tools available on the web, some that work with Moodle some that do not.  A few off the top of my head might be a little bit overkill for a single teacher seeking a simple tool but they include:

While each provides some type of synchronous classroom space they also provide audio and video and sometimes application sharing as their main features. Additionally, each presents its own complications insofar as installing and using with students (license fees, installation requirements, and sometimes software/hardware management).

For possibly an easier solution there are a few free web-based¹ whiteboards available on the web which might make a simple and easy way to create collaborative space for a class:

  • Wall Wisher is one such tool which provides an easy to use interface (and no registration for students) but the tools for drawing are limited.  It is however embeddable so can be used/launched right from Moodle.
  • Scribblar is another great tool which is 1. free 2. embeddable 3. provides guest access and 4. loads of tools including audio, Wolfram Alpha search and LaTex equation editing.  Shown below is the embed option opened for Scribblar.

Know of other great whiteboard products?  Share them in the comments.

¹as opposed to requiring a server or hosting elsewhere.

  • Prezi…

    It’s not exactly a white board, but it could be use like so. For example, you can use Prezi to structure a content directly in a live class and then embed it in Moodle.

    But I will take a look at the other free solutions you propose here. They look like realy interesting

  • zman

    Plugin for Smartboard anybody?

  • Julia

    What about apache openmeeting?

  • Dee

    Is there any free whiteboard which can work well with Moodle?