With the way technology is moving, it is no secret that we do more and more things online. Why wouldn't we be heading in this direction? It's fast, simple and effective. Time is money and we are looking to be more efficient. While Tutor Managment Software can play a key part is helping your business become more efficient, there are also other apps you can use to make your tutoring services more succesful.
It is so much easier to just log in and instantly be in touch, rather than drive or catch a plane to have a meeting or a lesson. You save money in more areas than what you first imagine. No need to buy pens, paper, whiteboards or any other colourful stationary because you have the full arsenal of supplies and colours all on one page. Pretty good for the environment too if you're all about saving the planet.
Whiteboards are outstanding for learning with how engaging and interactive they can be; not only are they great for students but also perfect for professionals to use in meetings. If you decide to use one for your tutoring business, it's a win win for everyone, the tutors, students and the admins.
After answering a lot of the questions that come through to TutorCruncher about Online Whiteboard requirements, my personal experience of testing them out and the overall value and rating across the board, I have listed the most popular whiteboards and discussed them accordingly.
This list contains a wide veriety of only whiteboards, not just the ones which are seamlessly integrated with TutorCruncher.
Whiteboard Comparison Review
1. Bit Paper
This comes in at first place because it touches all bases. It is extremely simple in design but still has all the options needed to teach a lesson creatively. We use this within our weekly meetings sometimes at TutorCruncher; it's been great to share ideas by brainstorming on Bitpaper and create visuals that can be easily shared for presentations. We have all enjoyed throwing our creative ideas together and being able to illustrate them.
It's very important for a whiteboard to be fun and to allow you to express thoughts effectively when you are learning or teaching. When you go on to the site you are automatically directed to the whiteboard. No need to download anything or set anything up; you can just straight up create a paper. Of course if you want to keep track and manage all your papers, the sign up process is simple, you just need a name, email and password.
Cool features on this paper:
Screen Share on Bit paper opens up the opportunity to see and do more
Clear and helpful tutorial
Screenshot and paste it straight into your paper
Go full screen and focus in on the paper
Audio, video and chat available
Use the shift key to easily make shapes and straight lines
Drag over lines and text highlighting any parts you want to select and move them in one go, or simple just move individual lines drawn and edit them.
Reuse papers by creating duplicates
Easy to switch between papers using the arrow keys
Set homework and come check it when it's done
Easy to undo and redo actions
Auto saves your papers
Add tags to keep organised between students and projects
Import and export data
Integrated with TutorCruncher
Create art and play games like my doodle below!
This one comes at a price for the most effective package. It has a lot of flexibility with integration. I had a play around on the demo and it is similar to Bitpaper. But straight away I can see that it is not as intuitive in a number of ways.
I created a few unintentional lines and tried to undo them with the CTRL Z function but this was not possible. The only way to correct my mistake was erase it. This however is available on the paid version of the whiteboard. Another point to make would be that each line could not be selected separately like it could be on Bitpaper. A lot of features that Bitpaper offers can be available on the paid version of groupboard.
The first good thing I spotted was that you can password protect each document. So if someone else happened to get hold of the URL they would still need the password to access it. Business wise you could have sensitive information on a board and this gives the added security not to mention from the learning perspective it gives you the reassurance that your child is safe.
This is one of the first whiteboards created as Groupboard was first released in 1998 and so far over 700,000 groupboards have been made. It is clear that this has worked and is working quite well. No doubt that it up there as one of the most popular boards to use in tutoring game.
Main features to take on board:
Access to the Groupboard API
Real time whiteboard
User interface can be translated
Drag and drop feature
3. The Lesson Space
Number one for sure on the online lesson recording factor. Soon to be able to be integratable with TutorCruncher too. You can jump right in with this one too with it's friendly user interface.
As a lover of art, I was quick to notice you do not get an open colour palette. You are given eleven standard colours, maybe one would not the best for art lessons or if you like using a palette for more creative touches. On the same note, it's not clear how to change the size of the pen and I couldn't find a guide to show me how to do this. It would appear to be that these are extra features that I get if I signed up.
Still, there are many more positive features that come free with this whiteboard which really gives it a professional look and user experience.
What you get in this space:
Code editor for rendering
Open multiple documents on one page
Advance troubleshooting support
Personal dashboard for management
Analytics and insights
Manage student profiles
Import your documents and annotate them
Undo and redo
CTRL and drag for straight lines
If you accidently delete a whiteboard page you have ten seconds to get it back
Last one to cover for this week is WizIQ online whiteboard. It seems to be very popular but I am not sure Why. It is seriously the most complicated one to get your head around and far too complex for what you need for a tutoring business or hosting online lessons. This company means well but really makes you struggle to set it up. They are trying to be too many things at one time that they cannot quite master the one thing.
A lot of errors and dead ends where the ‘page is not found' messages were scattered around once you sign up and makes you set up other areas of their system that has nothing to do with whiteboard, for example the ecommerce side. It timed out very quickly while I was figuring out how to get on to the whiteboard and then could not login again. So after not receiving and resting emails, I got in touch with in app support on their site. The answer to why it's not working was;
‘'I can see that due to a glitch, you trial account has not been created.''
This could maybe explain the errors but who knows? Instead of helping me out with the login, it just turned into a sales pitch. After half an hour of trying to communicate that I just need to log in, he said he will send the credentials and when asked how long that might be, he replied, ‘'an hour''.
I think I've painted the picture of WizIQ before even using their board. Not a very good start and it put me off despite all the features they offered. All the other boards were easy and pretty much straight forward, where as this one will have you spending a lot of time trying to work it out that you just end up wasting all of your time.
After eventually getting login credentials, I tried to create a class. Which requires you to fresh the page every time you do so. If you tried to create a class, it will be stuck on that box, even if you press the back button and there isn't a way to cancel the creation or opt out. You have to create it or close the tab. Once created, I still could figure out how to get to the whiteboard and had to refer to the in app chat again for assistance. While waiting to hear back I tried very hard to make this software work.
I attempted enrol a student ‘my colleague' and no success, tried to edit the lesson but it is greyed out. I then sent a link to the ‘student' and he was able to get on to the whiteboard and the only way for myself to access it was to also go on the same link as it would not refresh and remain greyed out. My colleague could not do anything on it without ‘permission' on the board, which we couldn't figure out how to give.
This is as far as I got with WizIQ, if you ever give it a go it would be great to hear if you had better success.
What they offer, if you're still interested:
Mobile phone app
Enrol students from MOOC's
Create and sell courses
Create your own tutorials
Create tests and assessments
Integratable plugins and API
Record live lessons
Audio, video and chat communication
Online Map, great for geography lessons!
Full screen mode
Circuit diagrams, line diagrams, and apparatus shapes included
Upload documents to your cloud storage
14 day free trial
Seems like a sales type of software and if that's for you and you've got time to set it up and figure it out then this could be the board for you. Compared to others, I would not recommend it as the best learning tool.
If you want to read part to of this article you can click here.