In this article Cecilia Astolfi reviews two popular online whiteboard apps, Explain Everything and Limnu, and considers which is best for students and educators
Strengths of Explain Everything
Ease of exporting: the app is integrated with other common apps such as Drive and Gmail. It gives plenty of options in terms of file type: picture, pdf, video.
Audio recording is easy to edit – can record, cut, re-do, merge. Quality of recording is good as long as speaking clearly in a silent room without echo, as it picks up background noise – but this would of course depend on the mic quality as well.
Making videos is intuitive, and can easily be edited directly on the slide and with the audio. Great if you need to have several slides of content in sequence.
Templates for shapes are very handy, especially if doing Maths.
Limitations: I keep confusing the Cutout tool (which duplicates what you select) with the Delete one. But maybe it’s just me being silly!
If used on a desktop, cannot see the borders of the eraser when using it, meaning it’s tricky to erase carefully. This is not a problem if using a touchpad.
Strengths of Limnu
Ease of sharing: I’ve used it for my private tutoring, and it is very handy. The students just need to set up a free account (takes less than one minute) and they can access all features in the browser.
Lots of keyboard shortcuts: the app is clearly designed to be easily used on a desktop. It works really well with my Wacom tablet connected to my laptop, so I can both draw easily and type too.
Unlimited space is absolutely fantastic – can zoom in and out and move around, so can easily make links between topics.
A range of colours available to use.
Limitations: exporting feature is very, very limited: just a poor quality screenshot.
The whiteboard “remembers” erased content, which is awkward when needing to move things around as the Select tool includes it as a sort of invisible blotch.
In conclusion, which one is best depends on its purpose!
Explain Everything is superior for making educational videos on a tablet / ipad with touchpad.
Limnu is superior to do live lessons, tutoring, and collaborative learning on a laptop/desktop.
What are your thoughts? Do you prefer another online whiteboard, and for what reasons?