Microsoft Whiteboard — the drawing app that you may have used in the past via the Share option in a Teams meeting — has received multiple improvements over the past few months. The interface has been completed updated with a number of new features and additional templates. Click this link to learn more about all of these new features.
What’s new today in our 365 tenant is a different way to access whiteboard files that offers some interesting new functionality.
To start the process, visit https://whiteboard.microsoft.com. You’ll see all of the different whiteboards you’ve created via the Teams meeting interface. Every time you launch a whiteboard it gets saved in this space so you can access it later (Microsoft Forms does something similar when you create a Poll in a Teams meeting, or create a math quiz using the Math Tools in OneNote).
New Whiteboards that you create are now also automatically being saved in a folder named Whiteboards in your HWDSB OneDrive (whiteboards made previously are still available at whiteboard.microsoft.com, but are not accessible from OneDrive, and can’t take advantage of the new features I’ll detail below).
This new storage location provides a variety of interesting opportunities. Now you can use the ability to attach a file from your OneDrive to an Assignment in Teams, and provide a copy of a Whiteboard to all of your students, providing a creative means of sharing their learning beyond Word Documents or PowerPoint slideshows.
With that in mind, we can start to play with the idea of building out templates in Whiteboard that the students manipulate and submit. In the below example, I’ve clipped some images of some Base Ten blocks using Snip and Sketch, added them to a whiteboard using the Image option in the sidebar, then copied and (furiously) pasted (CTRL-V) a pile of copies of the image for the students to drag across the page.
Once that was done, I added some text using the Text tool, dropped in an array of sticky notes using the Notes tool (click the context (three dots) menu on items to send them to the back or bring them forward so the items are sitting correctly on the Z axis) et voila, a whiteboard template that I can share with my students.
The next step will be to sort out how we can share these with each other. On the surface there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to allow others to make a copy of a template I’ve created in OneDrive; but it can be done. You need to create a folder to house the whiteboards (this means moving them from that Whiteboards folder they save to by default to another location you are willing to share from) and then share that folder with everyone (instead of trying to just share the file: the file will inherit the permissions of the folder). *Be careful when sharing folders with everyone: you don’t want to inadvertently share something that should be kept private.
You should be able to click on this link to find a Folder I’m sharing with everyone: Whiteboard Templates (logged in HWDSB users only) and then by clicking the three dots menu beside the file name, use the Copy to action to grab your own copy of the above template.