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Exploring Virtual Whiteboard Solutions

CIRT Creative
In-classroom whiteboards serve as dynamic tools for brainstorming, connecting ideas, illustrating concepts, and fostering interactive discussions among students and instructors. Replicating traditional classroom technologies, like drawing on a whiteboard, presents unique challenges in online education. While no solution fits perfectly in all scenarios, our experimentation and feedback have led us to identify several effective methods for facilitating virtual drawing and annotation in online teaching environments.

The Learning Glass™ (lightboard)

The Learning Glass™ (lightboard)

If you are comfortable with whiteboard instruction, the lightboard in the CIRT Video Studio allows you to produce videos in a similar style. A lightboard is a large piece of glass with a thin LED strip on the glass’ perimeter mounted on a sturdy frame. The ink will glow when you write on the glass using a neon marker. A camera on the other side of the glass records the video while flipping the frames to make the text readable. As a result, from your point of view, you are writing on a surface like a whiteboard while facing a camera. From the student’s point of view, you are making eye contact while writing in midair. In addition to pre-recorded videos, the lightboard in the CIRT Video Studio can also host synchronous sessions with video communication tools such as Zoom. Students’ responses to using the lightboard are always highly positive. But don’t take our word for it! Check out what your fellow Osprey Instructor, Elizabeth Stotz-Potter, had to say about her experience.

Drawing Tablets and Monitors

Drawing tablets and monitors provide a robust solution for more sophisticated digital drawing without the constraints of scheduling time in the video studio or being on camera. When you draw on a drawing tablet, like the Wacom Intuos, using the pen tool, the marks will appear on your computer screen. Mastering drawing tablets requires a learning curve as you adjust to the tablet’s mapping behavior and the disconnect between hand movements and on-screen actions.

Drawing monitors like the Wacom One address the visual disparity with an interactive screen display. You can sketch, draw, paint, and write directly on the screen. While using the drawing monitor, the pen tablet will display a complete copy of your computer screen. You will then notice that changes are simultaneously made on both screens (computer and drawing monitor) as you write. While enhancing hand-eye coordination, drawing monitors may pose connectivity challenges, requiring additional video output ports and multiple cords for setup.

Wacom Intuos and Wacom One

Laptops and Tablets with Touchscreens

Portable and user-friendly laptops, like the Dell XPS, and tablets, like the Apple iPads, with touchscreens eliminate the need for external setup complexities and offer versatility and convenience.

CIRT offers a range of virtual whiteboard solutions, including drawing tablets, monitors, touchscreen laptops, and iPads, which are available for checkout. We invite you to explore these options and share your experiences as we continue to innovate online education.

Brought to You By
CIRT Creative
David Wilson
David Wilson
CIRT | Associate Director, Creative Team Lead