I love it when I come across a new tool that seem simple but has a chance to make a huge impact on education. Yesterday a friend of mine, Ed Campos, showed me a new chrome extension called Ziteboard. In simplicity it is a digital whiteboard which can be shared to a group through an email or a link. In the grander scale it has the chance to transform your classroom by increasing collaboration on simple ideas and discussions like no other tool I have seen. By design, Ziteboard is an easy to use chrome extension (found HERE) which allows you to sign in directly with your pre-existing Google account. The extension itself gives you a clean white canvas, a simple pencil drawing tool, eraser tool, and undo button. The power of Ziteboard is not simply in its whiteboard function, but in its Prezi like format allowing users to zoom in and out of the canvas at will, giving you an unbounded space to collaborate and create on any subject and topic.
This unbounded canvas allows for you the educator or presenter to offer your students, staff, and participants a new way to take notes, REAL TIME COLLABORATIVE SKETCHNOTING! If you have not seen the power and creativity of sketchnoting please see the examples below and please read blogs by Kathy Schrock HERE and Matt Miller HERE. Sketchnoting allows your students to visualize their learning and create a digital mind map of their understanding of the topic or subject being taught. Normally sketchnoting is a personal exercise, but with Ziteboard you open your ideas to others, allowing them to be built upon or extended by other participants. Ideas can be connected togethers and a bigger picture of the topic can take root.
Sketchnote by Doug Neil
I am only in the fantasy phases of using this tool, but I cannot wait to see if it can be used in a class of 8th graders and college students the same way. I envision this tool being used not only as a note taking tool, but also as a visual backchannel for my classes to share collaborate and create at any moment during class. I have big ideas planned for such a little tool!!