vMiniWB.com: Training Workshop for teachers
vMiniWB = virtual Mini WhiteBoards
vMiniWB.com is NOT:
- For you (the teacher) to do much writing on
- An explanation whiteboard
- A collaborative board that lots of people write on
vMiniWB.com is different. vMiniWB.com ENABLES:
- Students to give Individual, private responses (en masse).
- You to respond to student responses privately.
- You to give initial scaffolding.
So vMiniWB.com is not like most Teacher 'Whiteboard' Apps. The emphasis is quite different. It is student focused and much more like using physical mini-whiteboards. So it's usage will be different and possibly even include new teaching methods, as the interactive and see-as-they-write aspects make this more than just a replacement set of physical mini-whiteboards.
Logging in for the first time
Set up a new class
- Enter a new class name (no punctuation or spaces)
- 'Create join code' (option at top)
- Copy to clipboard
- Send the code to your students
- Note that the code is only valid for 5 minutes.
- Note that you can use the QR Code button to project a QR code for students to use instead.
Guidance to give to students
- Use a cookies enabled browser session (not incognito).
- Your First and Last names are used for sorting alphabetically and registering you, so should be accurate.
- Your display name is what your teacher will primarily see to identify you.
- Only your teacher sees your name. Please enter it correctly.
- It's OK to accept the terms and conditions.
- Once your whiteboard session starts, Bookmark the page for fast starting in the future. Eg save it as a shortcut to your homescreen.
The two key things are probably to stress:
- "I will need you to save a bookmark, so you can start vMiniWB really quickly on future occasions." and
Your first session
- Student's boards will automatically appear as they join.
- To help explain to students how it works, I often project my screen for the first time. They can then see their little board and how what they write appears on it.
- I let them have a scribble and actively encourage them to experiment with themes, the undo slider, changing thickness and perhaps trying the keyboard, or just typing (if they have a real keyboard).
- Once everyone has joined, I explain that I write on everyone's boards in black to give scaffolding. I'll clear all screens and do this.
- I'll then say that beyond that, what the student writes is private and appears to me as blue. What I write is private, back to just the individual student, and is in red.
Our training now
- Get into groups of at least 3, but ideally of 4.
- One person can be teacher and login for the first time. The other 3 can watch and help this (thus learning how to do this for their turn later). You should use a laptop as 'teacher'.
- The 'teacher' can follow the instructions above to create a training class and create a join code.
- The other 3 should then pretend to be students, joining up with the 'join code' from the 'teacher'. They could use a mobile phone, a tablet or a laptop to be a 'student'.
Suggested training 'tasks'
These instructions are targeted at the 'teacher'. The 'students' should co-operate as cooperative pretend students.
- Clear the student screens and use the top left admin board to draw a noughts and crosses board. Hold 'shift' or '/' to draw straight lines.
- Play turns individually, so students in blue, teacher in red to grasp the interaction.
- Hold 't' and click on a student board to 'tick' if they win. Hold 'x' and click on a student board to add a 'cross'.
- Experiment with sorting the boards by pressing i, r, h, c, v, s, f, b or e (See help link at the top of the screen for details). I mostly use i, but sometimes r.
3 or 4 minutes should be enough to have got started and to have had a game of noughts and crosses.
Swap over, so each person gets a go at being teacher with everyone else joining their class.
Advanced teacher skills 1
You should each have a class with some students, so all log back in as teacher, so you can now all be teacher...
- Experiment zooming in and zooming out. It is very useful to be able to do this fluently. Holding <Ctrl> and pressing + (plus) and - (minus) is my favourite, but there are other methods. Zoom in to draw detailed bits on your board. Zoom out to see lots of screens.
- Experiment with hold-and-click keyboard shortcuts: g a L m / 0 u and on student boards: t x L K n d (see Help for details).
- Notice the 4 mini boxes at the top of each student board. These are respectively (left to right), tick count, feedback count, time since student last had the screen open, time since the student last wrote something. Further details are in the Help (link at top of the screen). Experiment ticking and drawing on student boards to see how these work.
- Experiment typing text and expressions. Read about the 'Expr' feature in the help to learn how to write complex algebraic fractions, square root signs, greek letters and other maths symbols.
- Learn how to 'save' your black admin board (<Ctrl> <Alt> 1 etc.) and load it (Q1 Q2 etc)
- Experiment with 'undo' and learn how to hold down 'u' whilst dragging the mouse left and right on the admin board.
Advanced teacher skills 2
- Exit class
- Organise class students
- Pick name of class to organise
- Perhaps read the 'Help' at the bottom of the page.
- 'Add' your colleague (teacher) names (by clicking 'Add' in the Unmatched list), to start to make an 'organised list' for your class.
- Then 'Close' this page and return to the main teacher page (where you can add new classes).
- Pick the class you were just 'organising' and open up the whiteboard sessions for it again.
- Notice there is now a register on the left side which will dynamically show you who has joined your session. Perhaps join each other's sessions again to see this working if you like.
- Exit class (again)
- Click on Top tips for some more ideas.