If you have been considering adopting an online whiteboard for your remote workspace but you’re not quite sure where to go, look no further. We have assembled the most popular online whiteboard questions on the internet and are ready to provide a thorough explanation of all of them.
Check out our guide to everything you need to know about online whiteboards if you are interested in learning more about them, and if you’re not sure about how online whiteboards are helpful when working remotely, take a look at our article on the QuestionPro blog about how virtual whiteboards enhance the digital workspace.
Online Whiteboard Q&A
What are online whiteboards?
Online whiteboards are defined in our essential guide as “A shared, online workspace where teams can utilize visual elements in order to express ideas and collaborate together. Just like people use traditional whiteboards to communicate information to each other, online whiteboards act in the same way but are able to integrate multimedia content, enable contributions in multiple different ways, and they lack the limitations of traditional whiteboards. The purpose of these virtual whiteboards is to visualize ideas, communicate with your team, and teach concepts to groups”
In short, online whiteboards help people visualize information in real-time and can implement frameworks to structure their collaboration. This ability is crucial to people collaborating online and in many ways improves on the pitfalls of regular whiteboards.
What is the best online whiteboard?
There are many different options for online whiteboards, and while they all have very similar goals, they also diverge based on their unique functionality. We created a guide of the best online whiteboards, both paid and free, so check that out if you want more detail about what online whiteboard is best for you.
There are many competitors, but some of the leading services are Miro, Mural, Stormboard, and Microsoft Whiteboard to name a few. Most of these tools draw off the same couple functions to operate effectively as online whiteboards while also giving you a database of pre-made templates to pick up and use.
As listed in our guide to the best online whiteboards, Miro is probably the most complete whiteboard replica you can use, while Mural is a strong option if you like to use many different templates during collaboration. Regardless of which one you pick, they all make great options for collaboration in the remote workspace.
How are online whiteboards different from traditional whiteboards?
There are a couple of obvious differences between online and traditional whiteboards, and there are also some similarities where digital whiteboards seek to imitate the simplicity of regular whiteboards.
Online whiteboards replicate the flexibility and versatility of traditional whiteboards, allowing people to draw and paste notes anywhere on the board however they need. Online whiteboards take the functionality of traditional whiteboards to the next level by enabling you to do everything much quicker than normal and also implement complex structures with just a click. Not only can you use pre-made structures but you can easily insert elements like mind maps, matrices, and flow charts into your board to collaborate on them instantly.
One of the biggest differences between online whiteboards and traditional whiteboards is the ability of online boards to retain information in digital permanence. When you make progress on an online board, or you complete a virtual workshop with important takeaways, you can retain all the information you achieved on the board forever. This means you never have to worry about losing your important collaboration information again, and you will always be able to access your most recent edits and reference them whenever necessary. Having accessible knowledge is a huge difference from traditional whiteboards where you need to keep pictures or reminders of your takeaways, and with online whiteboards that’s something you never have to worry about again.
Can you use online whiteboards for teaching?
Online whiteboards make a great tool for the classroom for any age. The ability to create your own unique structure in order to engage the classroom is super helpful to students working from home and will be a necessity as we move forward through the end of the covid-19 pandemic.
Online whiteboards are incredibly engaging for classrooms operating online, and also open up an entire sector for teaching beyond borders. Especially when teaching foreign languages, they enable teachers to reach students that were previously inaccessible. The reason that online whiteboards are so prolific in helping people teach languages is they provide a shared visual space, something that is critical when learning new languages. Without this shared visual space, teaching from a distance becomes far more challenging and students have a much harder time learning.
Take a look at our recent article if you want to learn more about how virtual whiteboards engage the classroom.
Are online whiteboards free?
Online whiteboards, depending on which one you select to use, could either be free or operate on a paid subscription plan. Many boards have free trials or allow you to use the program with limited functionality before asking you to upgrade to the paid version.
While pricing might be a turn-off to some who are moving to online whiteboards, think about the alternative of doing your collaboration or your workshops in person instead. When using an online whiteboard, you are able to mitigate most of the cost of in-person activities: travel, renting a space, preparation, etc. All of that is handled by the tool itself or by the online nature of the workspace.
Fresco doesn’t think that you should have to pay for powerful collaboration, however, which is why we’ll be launching as a free collaboration software coming April 1st. Teams should be able to access online whiteboards without paying monthly premiums to do so, visit our landing page if you want to learn more.
Can you only use templates or can you create boards?
Online whiteboards are versatile in their ability to enable users to create their own collaboration. Most tools provide a list of helpful and established templates for their use, and you can quickly select them and start collaborating with your team. These templates can help you organize your projects and workspace, optimize your business plan, or achieve a variety of different solutions.
One of the flagship features of online whiteboards is their ability to create their own boards from scratch. This provides the flexibility to direct your collaboration towards your team’s specific endpoints and goals. Every team does things their own way, and just like a traditional whiteboard, you can edit everything to your liking. Making your own structure means that virtual whiteboards have applications in many areas that they previously seemed incapable of handling, which is another reason they’re so important to use in a remote workspace.
Having the ability to both utilize simple pre-made templates and create your own unique structure is vital when transitioning your collaboration online and is something that makes virtual whiteboards one of the best additions to the digital workspace.
How does sharing and contributing work?
Sharing online whiteboards is extremely easy and most of them are able to share boards with just a link. It’s super easy to work together on these boards, you just need to start your free trial and invite your team members to try it out. If you’re working on Fresco, however, you can just send an invite link and collaborate instantly through an anonymous portal.
Collaborating on the board is super easy and there aren’t any restrictions to who can make contributions and how many they can make. However, if you want your board to be more private, you can change the settings to view only so you can control the flow of ideas to the board.
Online whiteboards make contributing and sharing boards super easy for teams, and streamlines the collaboration experience in general. Whether you’re sharing boards with your team or collaborating on quick sprints, online whiteboards make collaboration as easy as a click.
How much space is there?
The amount of space is another big differentiating factor between online boards and physical whiteboards. Traditionally, collaboration can be very difficult when your board becomes very convoluted and you begin to run out of space. The only solution to this problem would be to erase the knowledge you’ve already committed to the board or find a way to add more space, which normally isn’t easy.
Online whiteboards allow you to use unlimited space, zooming infinitely until your board is positioned right where you need it. This means that you never have to lose knowledge you’ve already committed to the board and can always make space for other activities, members, or contributions. This alleviates one of the biggest problems of traditional whiteboards and means you can always keep collaborating.
As more people begin to adopt virtual whiteboards to accommodate their virtual work environment, there is an increasing number of online whiteboard questions that need answering. Hopefully, this guide helped you answer some of the pressing questions you had about digital whiteboards.