Why shouldn’t the Internet be your smartboard?

So here’s a list of 6 free online collaborative interactive white boards. For a long time I’ve envisioned using the Internet in this way–a blank canvas on which multiple people can throw ideas, images, drawings, diagrams, and manipulate what others have added. Google Wave was the first thing I saw that came close to this vision. Then they rolled a lot of Wave’s features into Google Docs, now Drive. Prezi also came close, especially since they’ve allowed real-time collaboration. (Elluminate and other web conferencing platforms offer such an environment but they’re costly.)

The free online tools in EmergingEdTech’s list are more free-form and have a richer toolset than other sites designed for other purposes. I am excited to try these out with some of the new hardware we’ve setup here on campus, specifically the HDTV+AirPlay+iPad combo and Turning Technologies’ ResponseCards with Turning Point Anywhere. These online tools combined with tools in hand have the very real potential to significantly change the environment in which we teach. (And in the spring I’ll get to start demonstrating them!) The lines between web sites, smart boards, LMS’s, instructor workstations, and student response systems are blurring. Imagine the possibilities!

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