Collaborative whiteboard technical report (The knowledge wall)

From  report for a project started July 27 2012

Activity summary: We are seeking a web based product that will allow participants to contribute text, drawings, images and possibly other media to a shared space on the internet.

Dubbed a “knowledge wall”, this living artifact should be persistent and editable over the
duration of the course, viewable by all students, and be able grow and evolve dynamically. One
large shared space where all the students contributions can be seen and shared by all is the
desired experience.

Notes: No perfect solution has yet been identified, although Dabbleboard has been proposed
as good enough to begin exploration. The issue that I see is finding a tool that will emulate a
large physical sheet of paper that can be edited by a large group. By its nature, the internet is
divided into smaller ‘pages’ each with unique locations (urls) and permissions. (open,private)
Most of the tools on this list, offer drawing and/or media collaborations on a single web page,
which, in the context of this project might be equivalent to a single teams weekly contributions to
the greater wall. Essentially, to reconstruct the learning activity proposed, a ‘series’ of drawings
or ‘pages’ should be considered as opposed to one large ‘wall’.
Next steps: To choose an optimal product, several should be tested in conditions that may
duplicate the eventual student experience. This ‘user testing’ can be informal but better results
would arise by obtaining feedback with external participants. I would also like to share this
report and a request for input on the internet through my personal learning network and all.
Dabbleboard
https://www.dabbleboard.com
50$-100$ for ‘pro’ service
? Whiteboard
? Text chat
? Multiple pages
? Images
? Save online
? Good for diagrams, non expressive text tools
Flockdraw
http://flockdraw.com/
free – ad supported
? Collaborative Whiteboard
? Text Chat
? Add text (although I cant get it to work)
? Doesn’t save past a single session
Voicethread
http://voicethread.com/
99$ per year
? Conversation Tool
? “Collaborative Multimedia Slideshow”
? Images, Documents, Videos, Audio
? Doodling on images
? Mobile access
Notes: eg. http://voicethread.com/?#q.b409.i848804 Voicethread focuses on the media itself
(images, video, sound) and provides opportunities for rich asynchronous discussions that can
unfold over time. Drawing is supported via “doodles” which could be used in the context of this
project. Based on the project needs, separate ‘threads’ would be started for each teams topics
and these would be navigated through the voicethread UI.
Google Drive (Shared Drawing)
https://drive.google.com/
free
? Whiteboard and drawing tools
? Comments
? Text, Images,
Notes: Google drive may offer similar or greater features for free than Dabbleboard. In general
the drawing tools feel more natural, and ‘sketch book-like’ than Dabbleboard which seems more
suited to technical diagrams and charts.

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