Saturday, November 26, 2016

Individual Interactive Whiteboards: A Review of Ormiboard



Thanks to three great posts by Monica Burns about Ormiboard, I tried the tool out this month with my students. Ormiboard is a whiteboard tool. Where this one differs from some others, though, is that teachers can create interactive activities, give students a code to join, and then each student gets an individual copy of the board to use.

Start with a white canvas and a basic toolbox. Choose a background color. Add text, shapes, images, clipart, or drawings. With a couple more clicks, add some activities. In the picture above of one of my activities, I keyed each of the phrases like "Gain 1" or "Lose 1" to a particular shape. When the students try out this page, they drag the phrase to the appropriate circle. If it's right, it stays in the center of the circle. If it's wrong, it bounces back to where it started.

I used this activity to review a homework assignment. I changed each question of the homework into an interactive board. Students "played" while I walked around to see who had completed their homework. If students had done their homework, they received quick feedback on how they did from the activity. If students had not done their homework, they could still use the activity to review the content. While they worked, I could see a screen that showed where each student was in my set of four board that made this activity:


Want to try my activity? I'm not positive this will work, but let's try it. Go to this link and log in. Then use the code KS74J. Hopefully that will take you to the activity so you can see what it can do.

A couple of other things I liked about Ormiboard: There are ready-made templates for sorts and matching activities. With just a few minutes and the template, it is easy to make an interactive board to students. Also, there is a free version (try before you buy!) and a affordable GO Edition (currently on BIG sale).

Some of the functions of Ormiboard were not intuitive. I sometimes had to try things several times before I could figure out exactly what I needed to do to get the tool to do what I wanted it to do. Still, when I got stuck, there was a library of helping videos that showed me the way.

I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of what I would use this for in my classroom. I lost my SMARTboard last year and I like the idea of replacing my SMART Activity Builders with Ormiboard. I liked using it for homework review so my students all participated and received instant feedback. I'd like to try to use it in a different way. Are you using Ormiboard? If so, please comment and share an idea.

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