The first app I will review is Whiteboard Free - a free whiteboard app! (You probably guessed that, right?) It can be found in iTunes here.
This does exactly what it says on the tin in that it's a simple little app which allows students to write or draw away on a single 'whiteboard' which fits within the length and width of the screen (i.e. not scrollable. There must be a more geeky word for this?)
It's a simple way of jotting down thoughts, workings or answers. We use it as a quick AfL tool just like we would with regular whiteboards, for the teacher to check for understanding and provide instant feedback.
The benefits over a regular whiteboard are threefold:
1. By pressing the home screen and power buttons at the same time, pupils can take a snapshot of the screen, saving their workings or answers into their Photos app. Pretty cool.
2. It is fully collaborative! I don't know what the physical limit is in terms of actual numbers, but automatically via the inbuilt Bluetooth, users within range of each other can wirelessly connect to each other's whiteboards. This means that pupils can work collaboratively with each other in real time (to play simple games or share ideas). That's a really cool feature.
3. It's really easy to share your whiteboards. The app is neatly set up to post to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and has full email integration.
Top Tip: Take care with regards to e-Safety when using this app. Despite our largely successful efforts to educate pupils about safe use of technology, we have had one incident of a pupil writing inappropriate comments to other pupils using this app, so there is an inherent e-Safety issue to be aware of. Naturally, the situation was promptly dealt with and there have been no further instances of misuse.
The only limitation that I'm aware of with the free version is that you are limited to writing in red. Not a major stress, really. The Pro version is currently available for £0.59 if you're deeply offended by the colour red and need the option to write in black, blue and green as well.
For more information, check out the developer's information page about both versions of the app here.
Have you used this app with your students? Do you have any other ideas of how we could use it? Do you know of a better whiteboard app? Post a comment!