The traditional Whiteboard, often used in schools, colleges and for office presentations has been brought into the new online digital office world, with some great browser based apps that compliment the very popular online meeting apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex and Google Hangouts Chat.
The online group meeting apps often offer some form of simple whiteboard that can be used within the software to draw on and pass ideas on to the rest of the team, but they are very limited. Dedicated Online Whiteboard Software to use within the ever growing number of virtual meetings has developed rapidly over the last few years and has become very popular.
Uses of Online Whiteboard Software
- Virtual online meetings
- Collaborative presentations
- Online teaching
- Sales pitches
- Virtual study
- Project management
Features of Online Whiteboard Software
Infinite Canvas. Unlike a physical whiteboard the virtual whiteboard has an infinite canvass so that your drawings and illustrations can expand in any way you like and to any extent.
Collaborative Features. Real time collaboration with multiple users is a major benefit of online whiteboards and the exact details should be checked before purchasing. They should also allow real time comments from other users.
Attach Files. A powerful feature in any collaborative whiteboard presentation is a feature to allow external files to be imported and included. Files such images, charts, spreadsheets, documents, pdf's, and links to external resources such as websites and videos, can form an important part of an effective online whiteboard presentation.
Sharing and Accessability. The online whiteboard that you choose to use should have enough sharing funcionality to allow all users to have access as needed, and it should also be accessable on all platforms such as PC, tablet and mobile.
Synchronous / Asynchronous. It may be a useful feature for everyone involved to be able to see changes and make edits to the whiteboard in real time as others are working. This is synchronous working. Asynchronous editing is when other users need to wait to see your changes or make their own.
Drawing Tools. The core of the drawing functionality are the tools available such as pencil, pen, marker, chalk and eraser options. They should be scaleable with a good colour palette. The ability to draw shapes such as circles, squares etc is a useful advanced feature.
Widgets. Some online whiteboards will have widgets that can be used for special actions such as adding notes, arrows or other specific content.
Notes. These are a great way of collaborating on the content and should allow users to add a note to specific places or associated with specific content.
Examples of Online Whiteboard Software
- Google Canvas - free!
- Whiteboard Fox - free for personal use!
- InVision Freehand
- Explain Everything