Another gem from a recent training session I attended is the AWW app, which you can use to turn your regular classroom computer, projector, screen, and WiFi into a more interactive platform for free. The “AWW” stands for “a web whiteboard,” and that is exactly what this is. There is no sign-in or registration required, so getting started is as easy as going to the website and clicking “Start drawing.” It really could not be any simpler, and the uses are endless.
Once on the site, you have some color choices, a pencil, eraser, and the option to just type if, like me, you find your handwriting to be somewhat illegible, but the main benefits of this site come from the “menu” options. From this menu, you click “clear” to get a clean slate and start over, “post” to share the image on a social media site, or “save” to download the contents of the whiteboard as a .png image file—which is handy if a student is absent or you want your students to review the material outside of class. Finally, there is “invite,” which is the absolute best part about the AWW app.
Collaboration and Sharing
Click “invite” to get a link for others to join your whiteboard. This is excellent for teachers who get started up at the front of the classroom, but then want to continue updating the whiteboard from another device, such as a tablet, while walking through the classroom. Additionally, students can join as individuals or teams so multiple users can work on the same whiteboard. You can use this with students if they have access to computers in a lab or other devices with Internet access. I teach at a university and all of my students are adults with smartphones, so they just use their own devices. Click “invite” again to stop sharing. You can use this just as you would a traditional whiteboard with the added benefit of being able to design your own interactive collaborative activities to better engage students with content.
Besides accessing the website, it appears you can download an app for Android devices. While I have not yet located it in the iTunes store, you can still use the AWW app via a web browser. Try it out in class today! The AWW app is so simple, that there is not much of a learning curve for teachers or students and, while it obviously does not have all of the features of a SMART Board, you can’t beat the price.
Let us know what you think or share any similar apps you use by leaving a comment below.