How to tech

Choosing the best digital whiteboard

What is a classroom without a board on which to write? And a whiteboard, with its smooth and stick-able surface, provides even more flexibility. Not only can you write on the board, but you can add sticky notes to mix for rearranging and organizing concepts.

A digital whiteboard has even more capabilities: sharing photos as well as text and sketches, highlighting items with a "laser pointer," and converting handwriting to type. Like a physical whiteboard with sticky notes, everything can be moved around, making it ideal for affinity mapping and collaborative projects.

IU supports several different whiteboard options: Google Jamboard, Microsoft Whiteboard, and Zoom Whiteboard. How do you decide which one to use? Why might you choose one over the other?

What you want to use a whiteboard for will likely determine which one will work best for you. All three whiteboard options:

  • Can be used synchronously or asynchronously
  • Have a variety of sticky note colors
  • Can be exported as a file (.png, .pdf, or both)

Each type of whiteboard has its own unique features as well. 

Google Jamboard allows you to:

  • Upload a custom background
  • Add images from a linked Google Drive or Google Photos account
  • Create up to 20 pages
  • Use handwriting recognition

Microsoft Whiteboard allows you to:

  • React with emojis and stickers
  • Add alt text for greater accessibility
  • Upload single pages from .pdf files and PowerPoint
  • Choose from existing templates
  • Constrain a shared whiteboard to "View Only"

Zoom Whiteboard allows you to:

  • Respond with reactions in Zoom meetings
  • Comment on items
  • Choose from existing templates
  • Lock for editing

For more information on all of these and more, please visit the whiteboard article in the IU Knowledge Base.