Dabbleboard: The Collaborative Whiteboard

Do you enjoy drawing, but you aren’t as good of an illustrator as you’d like to be? Do you get frustrated with the amount of times you erase or cross out your pen or pencil marks? Do you wish you could expand your creative side, but haven’t found a simple way to do it? Well then Dabbleboard is the application for you!

Dabbleboard is an online, collaborative whiteboard application. Aditi Rao describes in her blog post, Dabbleboard: Online Whiteboard Collaboration, how Dabbleboard “allows you to write text, draw objects, and make flowcharts and other graphical representations easily.” I know for me, I had trouble drawing with a pen and pencil back in the first grade, and I still believe I haven’t mastered the basic artistic skills. Dabbleboard is just like a marker on a whiteboard, or a pencil on a sheet of paper, except that everything you create is online-based. Today, this application has been used both inside and outside of classrooms, and Rao also discusses in her blog post how useful Dabbleboard can be for educational collaboration. Dabbleboard offers many different uses for students and teachers; however, the main ones I will be focusing on are: the simple creations of drawings, the free and easy account for downloading, how it allows collaboration and the benefits teachers have of using this in their classroom.

To get the full tour of Dabbleboard, you can watch this video that briefly describes the use of the application:

When using Dabbleboard, you do not have to create perfectly shaped objects. As soon as your draw strokes are shown on the whiteboard, it will detect the most common shapes and show up right before your eyes. This makes the process of drawing or creating a graphical representation much faster. Also, you do not have to worry about the overcrowding of a tool bar, because all the tools needed to modify an object are right next to it when you click on the object you’ve drawn. Everything you draw can be moved, rotated, resized, deleted, and replicated.

Another helpful use of Dabbleboard is that it is extremely easy to reuse previously made drawings. All you need to do is drag and drop a drawing you create into your personal library. You can also copy something from the library into your current drawing or copy drawings from the public library that others have made.

One of the things that make Dabbleboard a great tool for student usage in the classrooms is that it is free. In fact, no signup or login process is required to use Dabbleboard; however, to download whiteboard drawings, you do need to create an account. Creating an account is easy, fast, and once again, completely free! Signing up for a free account allows you to download whiteboard drawings; however, Dabbleboard also offers Pro accounts, which include even more benefits, at a very reasonable price. Their website compares the two different accounts on their Pricing & Signup page.

Another benefit of Dabbleboard, that is discussed in the Top 10 Reasons to use Dabbleboard, is that it allows collaboration. Teachers can use this tool in their classrooms to encourage student collaboration and creativity on projects, class discussions, and group activities. Students can edit and collaborate both in and out of the classroom. Dabbleboard allows sharing and real-time collaboration with anyone in the world. You can have your friends or classmates view and edit your drawings whenever you like, but only if you make it public. Dabbleboard is a very secure application, and each drawing you create is only viewed by whom you select.

Finally, Dabbleboard is a great tool for teachers to use in the classroom. It allows for interesting ideas and detailed thoughts that could easily be created, downloaded, and inserted into projects, lesson plans or worksheets. As Rao says in her post, Dabbleboard: Online Whiteboard Collaboration, “Dabbleboard would also be a great supplemental tool to online professional development, where teachers could communicate and construct knowledge socially in real-time or at their own pace.”

Here is an example of a Dabbleboard I created. I used a photo I had taken at the beach and set it as a background, and organized my homework into different graphic representations:

Sample Dabbleboard

Have you ever used Dabbleboard or seen it being used in a classroom? If so, was it effective? Feel free to share comments, ideas, and thoughts relating to what you think about Dabbleboard!

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This entry was posted in Assessment, Collaboration, Creativity, Instruction, Teacher productivity. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Dabbleboard: The Collaborative Whiteboard

  1. Kendall C says:

    This app looks like a combination between the draw tools you can find in Microsoft products like Word, Publisher, and PowerPoint, Prezi, and Interactive Whiteboards that aren’t online like SmartBoard. I could definitely see this being used in my classroom because in the Prewriting stage of the writing process, you can make idea trees and brainstorm lots of information that you will have to later organize before actually writing the essay. I could see my class using the different shapes to brainstorm ideas for their essays, and then moving them around a lot easier than in Microsoft Word, for example. This would allow them to outline what paragraph they fall under (introduction, body, conclusion, etc.). That way you avoid multiple sheets of paper, trying to figure out how to upload it so everyone can see, and I can easily check their progress online and give helpful feedback. Really cool tool!

  2. Hilary S. says:

    Great post, Emmie! Dabbleboard looks like it could definitely be a helpful app. It definitely seems like one that I should get acquainted to before I start teaching because, as you mentioned, it could be a great way to encourage collaboration within the projects. I could imagine using Dabbleboard in my classroom to help students plan their essays or research projects. Instead of making a traditional flow chart to brainstorm, they could use Dabbleboard to get creative with their brainstorming process! I also like the screenshot of the one you made to keep your homework assignments organized…that could definitely be worth trying, especially at the end of the semester! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Emily D says:

    Your questions at the beginning describe me perfectly! I LOVE this tool. I constantly struggle with trying to get my ideas down visually, and it seems that Dabbleboard is the place to go. My favorite aspect of it is the fact that I can create my images and then transfer it onto a handout. I constantly struggle with making handouts visually appealing, and often when I use Word to do the graphics, it comes out looking off. However, Dabbleboard seems like a much easier and better tool to use, and now that I know about it, I fully intend on using it! It seems like a simple tool that is aware that some people are not talented with the pen and pencil, and I really appreciate that it does its best to match up what you draw with a common shape. I can imagine how helpful that is. The collaborative aspect of Dabbleboard just makes it even better. I would love to see what my future students can create together. Wow! Awesome find!

  4. Kyle W. says:

    As I was reading this post, I found myself thinking, “This is really cool, but how can an English teacher use it?” I then read Kendall’s comment, and it made me realize that this could be a GREAT tool for brainstorming/concept mapping. I think it would be great because students could work together on concept maps/group brainstorming projects, which would be really useful at the start of a writing project. Can other English ed people think of ways to connect this to literature?

  5. Christiana C. says:

    I love the idea of using DabbleBoard in the classroom. This looks like a great tool that will be especially helpful to students that are visual learners. From what I gathered, it seems like an online SmartBoard. DabbleBoard seems like a really good way to do classroom brainstorming, or for the students to come up with their own creations. I think DabbleBoard is a tool that could be used in all subjects in the classroom. Great post Emmy!

  6. Kaitlin L. says:

    I smell concept maps …
    This looks like a really great tool, and one that would work wonderfully with SmartBoards. I know I don’t always have the steadiest drawing hand, but I like to organize ideas visually. I often use different programs in the Microsoft Office suite for this, but they aren’t perfect. I see this tool as being used more hands on in classrooms with younger kids, and maybe more as a teacher tool in classes with older students (though the older students would probably get a kick out of using the application as well). A surprising amount of a literature course can be represented graphically, so I can definitely see myself using this.

  7. Kate H. says:

    Emmie, I’ve never seen DabbleBoard but think it’s a great tool! It’s really awesome how it detects what shape you’re trying to draw and just appear right before your eyes. That helps for those artistically challenged, like myself, and will help students feel proud with their professional-looking finished product. It’s a great way for both students and teachers to collaborate and brainstorm. It also seems really user-friendly and fun. This will definitely be a tool that students will enjoy using in the classroom!

  8. Patrick C says:

    Emmie this is a great post. I have never heard of this tool before but I think it is a great new tool for teachers to use. I like how it is completely free and seems to be very easy to use. I myself am not a good drawer at all so I could see this becoming very useful for me in the future. I think that this will also be a great tool to use for collaboration with students. There seem to be many different ways in which this tool can be used in the classroom. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Maddy R. says:

    Emmie, you post was very interesting and refreshing. I have never heard of Dabbleboard, and it seems like a great and easy to tool for students to use and to have fun while learning. This tool is also a great way for students to show what they have learned and help each other learn the material and concepts in ways that they might not have thought of before. It is a great way for students to really get creative in their work and work together in helping each other learn. Dabbleboard can even be used in math. It is easy to freehand and draw graphs, functions, and many other math illustrations, so it can definitely be beneficial to math teachers like me.

  10. Katie R. says:

    Emmie, this post was so great! I am so impressed how you put your own DabbleBoard together, great job! It’s a great way to show kids how to use their imagination while learning. Students can use this to use a virtual SmartBoard and it looks like a fun tool for us to use as teachers too!!!

  11. Holly G. says:

    This looks like a great tool. It reminds me a lot of the tool I looked at in my blog post, Popplet, which will be posted tomorrow. I, like you, have always struggled with hand-drawing and I was drawn to Popplet because it provided a way to make graphic organizers and projects without needing that degree of expertise, much like Dabbleboard. I like how Dabbleboard makes it easy to draw various shapes by simply making a few movements. A lot of programs like this take a long time to format and create, which takes away from the usefulness of it in the classroom. Because it is so quick, I think this is a great tool to use. Students could easily make a graphic organizer or I could easily make a worksheet for them that is formatted well and easy to flow without spending countless hours trying to make something look good in another program. This will definitely help those students that struggle with art make creative projects, and it could probably also be very helpful in math classes, especially when studying shapes. Dabbleboard sounds like a great tool – thanks for sharing!

  12. Hannah D. says:

    Emmie this is a great post, it looks like a really cool tool! It seems like it could be really useful in the classroom. I agree with what Emily said when she talked about transferring what you make on the computer to a handout. I think that could be helpful for anyone. And once you get the hang of it, it would probably be faster than trying to make a handout by hand or in word. It seems like a cool way to get the whole classroom involved in brainstorming ideas. Also, it seems really helpful for those that are visual learners. I really like it!

  13. Rebecca S. says:

    Emmie, I had never heard of Dabbleboard before reading your post, but it sounds like an interesting tool. I know as an elementary student, I loved to write on the whiteboard, so I think the fact that this tool is an “online” whiteboard will get a lot of students’ attention. Collaboration seems like it has been a popular theme among tools and Dabbleboard definitely can be added to that list! Something I found unique about possible collaboration with Dabbleboard that you mentioned in your post is that students can use it together to create presentations, projects, etc. Often, tools focus on teacher collaboration, so I like that you mentioned student collaboration with this one!

  14. Madison L says:

    Emmie,
    I thought this blogpost was incredibly interesting. The fact that there is now a tool in which people can collaborate on an online whiteboard and draw whatever. Its a perfect combination of hands-on learning as well as visual learning, making it a wonderful tool to use in the classroom. Its such an excellent concept in which there can be more collaborations in the classroom and students really learn how to work together with a fun and unique tool. It amazes me that teachers can also use this tool for their own purposes such as designing plans and sharing it with other teachers. I have to say that this might be one of my favorite tools that I have seen this semester.

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