Scribblar: collaborative virtual whiteboard

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Websites
Tags: , , , ,

Scribblar has been getting quite a bit of attention from bloggers and twitter users lately. This is all for a good reason, it’s a great program! I started using Scribblar at the beginning of this school year, and I don’t think I’ve even tapped the surface of the possibilities in the classroom.

The technology: Scribblar

My impression:

Scribblar is a great program because it’s relatively easy to use if you’re familiar with programs like paint (and really, who isn’t familiar with paint these days?). It has a lot of uses, especially to teachers and students.  It didn’t take me very long to learn how to use the program, and my students picked it up easily.The students enjoyed being able to collaborate online, and thought it was really neat that they could use chat or speak to other participants directly. Students can easily save their whiteboard sessions, as well as a transcript of their chat sessions, which is very helpful when grading. As an added bonus, students don’t have to register an account to use the program (but you have to register to be the administrator of one).

That being said the program is lacking several features that would be very helpful. The biggest issue that I have is that the program doesn’t have an eraser feature (though it does have an undo button and you can delete entire shapes as well). It would also be helpful if there was some kind of user guide or video tutorial available on the site. It would also be really nice if you were able to record the entire session and play it back (so I could see what the students were up to and their process). Finally, it would be awesome to be able to import word documents to edit them collaboratively, rather than only be able to import pictures. This ability is available through other sites such as titanpad, however it would be beneficial to have it built into this program as well.

Possible uses in the classroom/ Lesson ideas:

This website is fantastic for e-learning and for having your students collaborating in groups.

It would also be very effective for homework help, tutoring, or having a student help with a group project while they are absent from school.

My most successful moment with this website has been a group project that my students participated in with students from 3 other schools in different cities. The students were able to brainstorm topic ideas, determine which members of the group participated had what responsibilities, and how they would complete their task. The students had a meeting with their group on Scribblar once a week, and I was able to grade their participation easily by reading their chat transcript and viewing their snapshots. The students loved using the site and it made a mundane project very exciting for them.

Pictures:

An empty whiteboard room

An example of a collaboration

Where can I learn more?

www.scribblar.com

This blog post from Instructional Design Fusions

The education technology blog

Educational technology guy’s blog

Rating: 3 stars

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