Way back in February of this year I was introduced to a Preview version of Microsoft Whiteboard, an app for Windows 10 devices that was similar to that running on the awesome Surface Hub devices. I was able to show a handful of customers but because it was not available there was a degree of frustration at not being able to get "hands on" with it in their classrooms.
That's all changed with this weeks announcement of a public preview of the Whiteboard App for Windows 10.
If you're in a hurry to get your hands on this then click the following direct download link:
Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is built for anyone who engages in creative, freeform thinking before getting to their final output. It’s designed for teams that need to ideate, iterate, and work together both in person and remotely, and across multiple devices.
For schools that are already heavy users of OneNote Class NoteBooks you may ponder why this is a good tool to explore, but I believe there are definitely differentiated value propositions here including:
- In the Whiteboard Preview App the pens are at the bottom of the app rather than at the top as they are in OneNote. If you're using Whiteboard App projected onto a touch enabled TV or Projector screen then this is a huge thing. You don't need to be stretching right up to the top of a large screen to change pens - you can "grab" the new pen from the bottom of the screen, just as you would on a traditional whiteboard:
- You can easily click 'n drag text, images, diagrams and virtually any other object around within whiteboard.
- The photo stack feature is a neat one that is not available in OneNote:
- Co-authoring is easier with MSA accounts such as Outlook/Hotmail supported, as well as traditional Office365 Accounts meaning collaboration can be easily implemented with users outside of your school if that is desirable:
- Multiple canvases are supported for easy sharing across different classes/projects:
For schools that already use touch and pen enabled devices there is obviously a lot of additional value here, although the "finger touch" option is reasonably accurate even without a pen. The fact you can share without the need for an Office365 account opens this up to schools that perhaps use other cloud collaboration suites but want to get the value of this free tool.
It's been a long time in development before it's got to this stage and I do encourage you to download it and give it a go.