Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2019
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Microsoft Whiteboard

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Limited features on shareable whiteboard

Subjects & skills
Subjects
N/A

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
3–12
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5 images

Pros: Endless scrolling and automatic save make capturing class notes easy.

Cons: Students must log in with a Microsoft account to access and collaborate; similar apps have more creative features.

Bottom Line: Basic whiteboard fails to stand out from many other free options.

Microsoft Whiteboard puts a small whiteboard in the hands of every student via their computer or tablet. Teachers can display a whiteboard on a projector or screen via the computer link, and students can add their drawings and comments in real time. Teachers could also use Microsoft Whiteboard for a class lecture, demonstration, or discussion and then post it or share it with the class for review or with students who were absent. Students can also work in groups to collaborate on projects, presentations, and brainstorming using the app. Teachers can import an image and draw over it -- handy for annotating texts or demonstrating a math worksheet.

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Microsoft Whiteboard is a basic whiteboard canvas for students and teachers to use to create and collaborate. Accessing the tool through the web, a Microsoft device, or an iOS device requires logging in with a Microsoft account. Whiteboards can be shared immediately for collaboration or after they're completed. Viewing or collaborating will also require logging in. From there, you'll find a set of colored pens (including a cool rainbow pen!), a highlighter, an eraser, a ruler, and a lasso tool for grouping elements on the board. There's also an undo and redo option. Beyond the drawing tools, there's an option to add yellow sticky notes (these can be resized but not color-changed) and add images, which can be annotated and highlighted upon. Links can be added within the whiteboard. Works saves automatically and can be exported as an image. A cool accessibility feature to note is the option to add descriptions to objects for those who are visually impaired. The whiteboard scrolls endlessly, so there's a lot of space to use.

Microsoft Whiteboard is a functional tool. In a world of digital whiteboards full of features, though, it falls flat. There's no option for voice or screen recording as with some whiteboard apps. It's still a solid tool, though, even without the special features. Students can collaborate on one whiteboard at the same time, which is a great learning opportunity. And with endless scrolling, there's no limit to what can be included on a board. Changes save automatically, which can be good unless you need to see a previous version -- there's no way to access version history. Students have to log in with a Microsoft account.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Microsoft Whiteboard doesn't offer anything new and exciting, but it's a functional collaborative whiteboard space that empowers students to share ideas and collaborate.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Endless scrolling creates a great space for capturing all kinds of ideas and materials. Basic boards can be created on tablets via the app or online via the web and shared both ways.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Students have to log in with a Microsoft account to use the app. An accessibility feature allows descriptions of images to be read for visually impaired users.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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