5 digital Whiteboard to Level Up your lessons

Another week another 5 of my favourite tools for all the hard-working online language teachers.
This time we are looking at 5 digital whiteboards I’ve used over the last couple of years either for my private lessons or because the schools I’ve worked for chose them. These are the 5 that I’ve found the most interesting to share with you. Let’s go! 

1. Jamboard

If you’ve been following or blog you know that I like Jamboard. It’s probably the most intuitive of all and the most colourful! Most importantly it’s made for collaboration and when I wrote an article about it, I though, that the graphics can really help learners visualise different activities that we usually use as language teachers.

Reasons to use

+ It’s completely free

+ Learners can share it without and account

+ You can add any image from the web quickly

+ Students are used to using the Google products

 For me MS Whiteboard was the snappiest I’ve tried so far. What I love about it is that the interface is very clean, you can quickly organise the board divide into parts and have your learners collaborate and above all the ability to preset three different pens. You can pre-select the colour, thickness level and whether you it will function as an arrow or not. As a person who makes timelines all the time, it was really useful to do this in the easiest way possible. Another good thing is that you can use it with any virtual classroom that you want. I suggest you download it from the website instead of using the online app for better user experience. Also, here’s a video we made to show how to learn the basics of MS Whiteboard


Reasons to use

+ It’s completely free

+ Can be used with any virtual classroom

+ It has a very clean interface with large icons to help less tech savvy teachers

+ Can be used with a stylus

This one is more advanced and powerful tool compared to the other two. The most powerful of all is probably it’s recording function which allows you to interact with the content on the board while recording the screen and your voice to assign homework for example. Apart from this it has everything you could imagine from a digital whiteboard; a very big range of annotation tools. What you wouldn’t expect is the integrated web browser that allows you to browse the web while maintaining the focus on the digital whiteboard. Pretty neat!

Reasons to use

+ Can be integrated into a range of LMS and virtual conferencing tools.

+ It has a integrated web browser so that you don’t need to share your browser while teaching, losing important learning time.

+ You can use the built-in recorder to assign homework or further explain points that your students found challenging

! You can only record three minutes with the free version

You enjoyed the collaboration bit of MS Whiteboard but you’re looking for something more advanced. Miro is for you then. It features a range of templates including Mind Maps, Roadmaps and Flowcharts to help your learners work on tasks efficiently. This one is a good choice for task-based lessons in which the learners will be doing a lot of pair/group work. It’s not completely free but you can have a maximum of three digital whiteboard before you will need to delete one. Having said that, the available space in each whiteboard is unlimited as long as your device is powerful enough to open it.

Reasons to use

+ It fosters collaboration through a range of pre-made templates

+ You can use a whiteboard indefinitely

+ It has all standard annotation tools of all the previous tools

! You can maintain three board without paying for a membership.

Zoom’s whiteboard has always been a  bit meh. It was not bad but it was clunky and my less tech savvy students always found it hard to use the annotation tools. The new whiteboard after a clunky start has developed into a very reliable choice. It has all the standard annotation tools; your learners can automatically use the board when it opens, unlike the older version; being a built-in whiteboard it shows your student’s names while they annotate. Finally, something that I had always like in the previous whiteboard, the ability to change pages is still here but improved.


Reasons to use

+ It’s built-in, so you don’t have to use a second tool if you already use Zoom

+ You can have multiple boards and quickly export them to send them to your students.


! It can only be used with Zoom.

Final thoughts

Which digital whiteboard tool you are going to use depends on your tech skills and how far you want to exploit the tools. Do you want something to just type and highlight? Go for Google Jamboard and MS Whiteboard, or a tool to allow for maximum collaboration? Then Miro and Explain everything should be your choice.
We keep things free and as you can see the website is free from annoying ads! Unfortunately, there’s a running cost to everything including the website and of course the time needed to create the material.
For this reason, I added a PayPal donation button to let you choose whether you want to support our website. The smallest donation can help me continue doing what I love.

Anthony Antonopoulos

About Anthony 22 Articles
From teaching 3 year-olds during my first year teaching to the point where I was teaching military officers for the Greek Army. My teaching career has been a rollercoaster of different non-sensical experiences. Lucky to have worked in a few amazing schools such as ih London, Aberdeen & Lacunza. If you want to talk about technology & video games in education I'm your man :)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.