Review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2014
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Splashtop Whiteboard

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Confusing alternative to popular tool is no match for the real thing

Subjects & skills
Subjects
N/A

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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Pros: The large selection of tools and pre-created templates are designed to engage students and promote critical thinking.

Cons: A confusing design and slow response times make it frustrating to use.

Bottom Line: Teachers who don't have access to an interactive whiteboard may appreciate many of the app's features, but the smaller scale and confusing interface keep it from reaching its potential.

Teachers can use Splashtop Whiteboard in a classroom where they don't have access to an interactive whiteboard or when working with students in a temporary environment. The available tools make it best for whole-class instruction, where teachers may want to present information to the class and call students' attention to specific points. It may also work well for individual or small-group presentations by students.

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Splashtop Whiteboard creates an interactive whiteboard by connecting a tablet to a computer. First, teachers download and install the Splashtop Streamer application on their presentation computer and the Splashtop Whiteboard app onto a tablet. Teachers can then use the tablet like an interactive whiteboard to control the computer's display. The tools allow teachers to annotate or draw on top of websites, videos, text files, PowerPoints, and other digital content. Within the app, teachers will also find a selection of pre-created templates and graphic organizers, which they can use to take notes or display information for students.

For teachers without an interactive whiteboard in the classroom, Splashtop Whiteboard may provide a cheaper and effective alternative. When it works, that is. Occasionally, slow response times and a confusing design can make it more frustrating than engaging. And while the design features a wealth of tools and functions, it lacks intuitiveness and precision. This means it will take time for teachers to get used to swiping, pinching, and other hand motions to control the tools. However, if teachers and students can figure it out, Splashtop Whiteboard has the potential to make instruction more interesting, interactive, and entertaining, just like a full-size interactive whiteboard. It will not, however, provide students with the same feel as an actual interactive whiteboard.

Overall Rating

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

Confusing design and lack of responsiveness make it difficult to fully embrace the large selection of tools.

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

Tools allow teachers and students to annotate content and encourage critical and creative thinking, but execution falls short.

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

On-screen tutorials guide beginning users, but fail to provide help for specific problems they encounter.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Celine P. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Horizon Middle School
Aurora, CO
Interactive Mobile Whiteboard at a Low Cost
Most of my teachers love this tool. Not all of them use it to its full potential. Some only use it as a wireless remote, but even then, it moves them form the front of the classroom to a place where they can monitor and interact with their students more effectively. The tools that come with Splashtop Whiteboard itself are very basic and limiting, but when the tool is used in conjuction with a tool like SmartNotebook and some training, it can be an extremely powerful teaching tool.
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