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Digital Whiteboard

A digital whiteboard replaces a physical whiteboard for writing notes during class. Many laptops are capable of acting as a whiteboard interface. With the addition of a stylus, you can write directly on your screen. If you do not have a touch screen laptop, please see our hardware recommendations under Wacom Tablet. A Wacom Tablet will connect to your computer via USB or Bluetooth. Using the stylus, your handwritten notes will appear on-screen.

Advantages to using a digital whiteboard:

  • Recording. Whether you are teaching remotely or in-person, using a digital whiteboard means that your notes and annotations are recorded directly by the recording system (Panopto or Zoom). The camera in most Penn Law classrooms will not accurately capture your notes if you write on the physical whiteboard.
  • Longevity. Depending on the tool you use below, you can save your handwritten notes for use later. 
  • Planning. Create notes before class that you plan on showing students.
  • Collaboration. Using Microsoft Whiteboard, you can share your Whiteboard screens with other people to collaborate on the same whiteboard.

Hardware

Many laptops have touch screens. Please contact itshelp@law.upenn.edu with questions or to identify the appropriate stylus for your touch screen. If you want to purchase a Wacom Tablet, see hardware recommendations here.

Software for Digital Whiteboarding

  • Whiteboard in Zoom
    • Recommended for Zoom calls when you want to sketch a concept or write notes.
    • See instructions here for using a digital whiteboard in Zoom
    • Zoom offers a simple whiteboard solution to share notes with participants. You can also annotate any documents that you share through Zoom.
      • Pros: Simple, quick, easy whiteboarding solution over zoom. Does not require a separate application. Students can jointly annotate documents.
      • Cons: Notes disappear once call is over. You can not retrieve them for later use.
  • Microsoft Whiteboard
    • Recommended for recording notes with voiceover in a pre-recorded lecture, in-classroom use with a Wacom Tablet, or more advanced whiteboarding when teaching via Zoom.
    • See here for more information on Microsoft Whiteboard. 
    • Microsoft Whiteboard is a full-featured whiteboarding software. Whiteboards can be created in advance and retrieved during class. If recording a lecture with Panopto, instructor can record a voiceover narration on top of whiteboard notes. 
      • Pros: Add handwritten notes, insert images, input text with keyboard. Create tables and charts. Create multiple whiteboards and retrieve them during class. Works for remote and hybrid classes.
      • Cons: Must switch into Microsoft Whiteboard application. 
  • Microsoft Powerpoint
    • Recommended for annotating Powerpoint Slides rather than a blank-slate whiteboard.
    • See here for instructions on Powerpoint annotations
    • With Powerpoint’s annotation feature, you can add handwritten notes directly to your slides.
      • Pros: Write directly onto your powerpoint slides. You do not have to switch applications. 
      • Cons: Fewer features than Microsoft Whiteboard.

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