I read about this program on Kathy Schrock’s SOS for Busy Teachers.  It’s called Twiddla and it’s a real-time whiteboard, allowing you and your users to markup a document, website or graphic together.  According to their tagline, Twiddla is a “free, no-setup, web-based meeting playground.”

It’s pretty easy to use without any instruction.  From the Twiddla site click on the big, green “Go” button and you’re off and running.

What can I do in Twiddla?

As with most online whiteboards you can draw with a pencil tool and add shapes like squares, circles and stars.  But that’s not overly useful in an educational environment.  What makes this a good tool is that you can easily import your own content (Word docs, Excel Spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, PDFs).  It also has a Mathematical Formula editor that let’s you create real-time, online math tutorials!  There is also a voice chat tool, which many whiteboards do not have, thus allowing the users to discuss what they are doing and makes for easier collaboration.  Lastly, try the web-browsing tool which allows the entire group to view the same page at the same time.

Are their practical applications in education?

Yep there are!

  • A collaborative, real-time, online whiteboard allows you to conduct more engaging online office hours by giving you the ability to draw a concept instead of just typing it.  This is really beneficial in the math and science areas.
  • This type of space can be beneficial to class group-work.  So often, group members have a problem getting together in the same place at the same time.  While this does not eliminate the “same time” problem it does allow the group members to get “together” without actually having be together.  This tool is great for idea development.
  • What about a collaborative, digital art project where a group works together on a piece.

Check it out.  When you find additional educational uses please post in the comments!!!