Using A Collaborative Whiteboard to Support Writing in School Based Telehealth
This week, students head “back to school” virtually in many parts of the country. Even with all the resources and technology now available, it is still a challenge for OTs and PTs to provide the educationally relevant therapy we were striving to provide in the classroom. When interventions that used to take place in the educational environment now happen over a virtual conference, it’s an extra challenge to make sure our services support educational goals and access to the curriculum. Using a collaborative whiteboard during your sessions gives you the ability to support students in real time during your telehealth sessions. You can also check out my other post about strategies for “pushing in” to virtual learning!
Pretend You’re in the Classroom Using A Collaborative Whiteboard
One way I’ve gone about this is to think “what would I be doing with this student in the classroom?” For a lot of my students with handwriting goals, I would probably provide interventions such as visual supports (ex. Highlighted lines), teach adapted strategies (ex. Using a spacer), try adapted paper and pencils, etc. A lot of this stuff can still be done online using a collaborative whiteboard.
Bitpaper: A Collaborative Whiteboard For Those Using Google Meet
I’ve heard that Zoom has a nice collaborative whiteboard but I wouldn’t know anything about that because our district doesn’t allow zoom. Cue the background sobbing! There are, however, a few workarounds out there. Today, I’m writing about one of my favorites. It’s called Bitpaper and it’s free (sort of). You will need to set up an account and hold on to the URL for your “paper” in order to avoid paying for a premium account. I keep mine pasted in a google doc and on my task list in Google Calendar. From there, you can do many things. I will post the link in the Google Meet for students using a touchscreen computer. For students with an iPad, you can email the link for the Bitpaper to the iPad and then the student can access the whiteboard from the tablet while they are conferencing with you on the laptop! How nice is that?
Check Out My Instructional Video
This video goes into some of the cool features as well as the wonky aspects of the Bitpaper collaborative whiteboard. Like all things teletherapy, it is not without its flaws and we must always remember to have patience and grace. Enjoy!
Give It a Try!
What do you have to lose? It’s free! Drop me a comment after you give it a whirl and let me know if you love it or hate it! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list and you can download a pack of drag and drop activities to upload and try with your students!
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