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How to use the interactive whiteboard and annotation feature

Tutorial on using the IWB and annotation feature.
So one of the tools that you might have in your online learning platform is the Interactive Whiteboard. And it can be really, really useful in language lessons, in particular, because you might want to look at meaningful pronunciation on the board as you would in a normal lesson, or you might want to list vocabulary. You might also want to, of course, look at errors after practice tasks, and you might want students to complete gaps in gapped sentences, things like that. So in order to use your Interactive Whiteboard, you just go to Share screen and you choose the whiteboard option. And now, students will be able to see this particular screen. So you’ve got here the toolbar.
So you click here for text and you can also choose colour. [TYPING]
OK. And there we go. You can also increase the size of the text. If we go to format, you can change the size here. And you can do things like you can draw.
Have a much skinnier line if we want, and again, we can choose the colour. So we can circle things, for example, you’ve got little stamps, you want to add little stamps to things. Maybe you could have a little heart to mark the stress of words, for example. You can use a spotlight if you want to highlight something here with your mouse. You have an eraser to erase everything you want to erase. You can change the line width, you can put things in bold, in italics. You can undo, you can redo. And you can clear… …all drawings, well my drawings or viewer’s drawings, because students can annotate here, too. Let’s clear everything.
You can also save the board as a PNG, and if you click on Show in Folder, so I’ve clicked it, and it’s now saved. And if you click here and click Show in Folder, it will bring up the place where it’s been saved on your device. As I said, students can actually annotate here as well. So I’ve got a student in the room at the moment, it’s not actually a student, it is me. But they can actually write as well.
There we go. So the student has drawn that particular picture. Now if I hover my mouse over here and I go to the 3 dots, I can actually click Show Names of Annotators.
So that means that when it appears, their name appears as well. So that prevent students from doing anything that they shouldn’t do, because you can see who’s done it.
I’m just going to Stop Share, and I’m going to show you what this looks like from the learner’s perspective. So this is a learner’s phone, and they can see the whiteboard here, and obviously the teacher. Now they have this little pen symbol here, and if they click on that, that means that they can annotate onto the board. It might be slightly different depending on the device. The learners might need to click something that activates– Annotate in some way, or allows them to annotate.
Now one thing that’s really important is settings. So as I said when you’re sharing your whiteboard, you do have some options here. You can actually Disable Annotation, so when you do that, that means that learners can’t annotate. And if you want to allow Annotate, you just click on this, and you can enable annotation for others.
Students can actually annotate over other documents as well. So if I bring up a Word document, for example, then they should be able to annotate over this as well. So I’m just going to demonstrate this so that you can see it. So again, it could be, for example, that you want students to circle something, or highlight something, to highlight the prepositions that you can see on the screen, for example.
Again, this is done exactly the same way. And if you want to– and if you want to stop them from annotating, you just need to click on the 3 dots and Disable Annotation for Others.
So that’s how you can share a whiteboard and use a whiteboard with your students, and it’s also how you can help students to annotate, and how you can annotate on other documents as well.

The interactive whiteboard feature of a platform can be very useful when clarifying the meaning, form and pronunciation of new language, among other things.


If you’re unfamiliar with how to use the interactive whiteboard in a platform, and/or how you and learners can annotate on documents, watch the video tutorial and note how you can do these things:

  • Open and write on the interactive whiteboard
  • Allow or prevent learners from writing on the whiteboard or other documents
  • Changing the settings so that annotations appear with the learner’s name

When finished, open up the platform you use or have chosen to use and try to use the interactive whiteboard and annotation tool if there is one. Go to the Help or Support pages of your platform to find out more if necessary.

Go to the next step where we’ll look at practising language.

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Teaching English Online

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