This blog post is an in-depth step by step tutorial that will show you how to use the Zoom Whiteboard? When I say Zoom Whiteboard, I mean the online version of the whiteboard, which is free to use.
Zoom also sells whiteboard hardware (physical whiteboard), that is not in the scope of this how-to guide.
After using Zoom for almost this entire year, I found that the whiteboard is the most useful feature as it helps explain things quickly and easily.
So in this tutorial, I will show you exactly how you can use the Zoom whiteboard feature to simplify complicated topics and make lectures less tedious for your students, trainees, colleagues, or even bored/ board members (if you work in an organization).
Watch this how-to guide in action:
After almost another 1000 words, I’m also going to share a BONUS tip at the end of the how-to guide.
The BONUS tip will not sell you anything. It will show how two simple Zoom whiteboard settings can prevent mischievous colleagues or even spoiled students from using the whiteboard when you are presenting.
Also, I will share a link to download a PDF copy of this entire whiteboard tutorial for later reference.
A common question that people ask me,
Is Zoom Whiteboard free?
Yes, the Zoom whiteboard is free and is available on all the plans from Basic (free) to Enterprise ($1999+ per month).
How to use Zoom Whiteboard?
To start using the Zoom whiteboard feature, you need to be in a meeting first. So I’m in a class meeting, and I want to explain mimicry in animals.
Yes, that’s the topic for this class.
The first step – once in a Zoom meeting, click Share Screen.
Then click Whiteboard > Share.
Here we go.
We have our whiteboard on the screen.
This bar on the top is the Annotation Menu, with various tools available at your disposal.
The Select button is what you will click to select things you’ve already put on this online whiteboard. More on that later.
Then we have the Text tool to type text.
While in the text tool, you can click the Format button to format your text. You can change color, make it bold. And even change the font size. If you want to edit the text you’ve already typed, click the select button & select the text you want to edit. And then you can edit it.
Next, we have the Draw tool.
You can draw outline shapes, transparent shapes, opaque shapes, lines, and arrows to explain the topic.
You can highlight stuff using a transparent shape like this. So it’s just like a highlighter.
And yes, you can change the color and thickness of the shapes by clicking the Format button.
Want to edit the shape you’ve already drawn?
I’m sorry, Zoom whiteboard won’t let you do so. What you can do is use the eraser to erase the shape and redraw it. Alternatively, you can also move the shape using the Select tool here.
Then we have the Stamp tool. You can quickly point out something using the arrows, checks, or crosses using the stamp tool.
It is very fast to use the stamp tools for these specific shapes, then the shapes to and of course you can.
You cannot use a Format tool to format shapes. They just come in one color.
Over here, we have the Spotlight button, which is just like a laser pointer used with real whiteboards and projectors.
And we also have another way to point out things when collaborating with other participants or students.
So say a student says –
“I am unable to understand that.”
“This what?” Just point out.
Move the cursor to the top of the screen and click Enable annotation for others.
On the other end, the student will see that a new tool will appear on their screen.
Then he or she can point it out using the Arrow tool on their screen.
The student’s name will appear on the arrow, like this.
And you will know. What “that” was. What this was “that.”
Let me try again.
And you will know what “that” was actually.
OK, then we have the Eraser to erase stuff, Undo, Redo, to undo or redo actions.
We are also blessed with a Clear button to Clear all drawings, My drawings, or Viewers’ drawings.
I will click the Viewers’ drawings.
The arrow my student put up on the screen just disappeared.
I can also Save this whiteboard as a PDF or as an image to share with the class, colleagues, or board members.
Once done with a whiteboard session, click the X to close the annotation bar and click Stop share.
Now, before I close this Zoom session, I have two important topics to share with you.
How do I insert an image on the whiteboard?
Well, I don’t find a button here that says “insert image” or “paste image”!
And what if I want to annotate while presenting a PowerPoint presentation? Can I do that?
Well, the answer is there is no direct way to do so.
What you can do is…
For example, if you want to work with an image, open the image or the website or the PowerPoint presentation first that you want to explain.
Then move the cursor to the top and click New share.
Select the image you want to bring up.
Move the cursor on the top.
Click Annotate. And explain it.
You can also explain a PowerPoint presentation this way.
Make sure the PowerPoint presentation is open on the screen.
Then you click New share.
Select the PowerPoint presentation that you want to explain with the annotation tool, and then click Share.
All right, we are done.
Where is the BONUS tip?
Take 2 – Alright, we are almost done.
How to prevent participants from drawing on your Zoom whiteboard?
Two simple settings should prevent spoiled students and colleagues from ruining your whiteboard session in Zoom.
You can change these settings while in the meeting too, but they will not move over to the next session. To implement these two whiteboard security settings for all future meetings.
Go to Zoom.us/profile/setting
Go to Screen sharing, change Who can share? To “host only.”
Scroll down to Annotation and check “only the user who is sharing can annotate.”
This would prevent others from sharing their screen or annotating on your screen unless you permit them.
To allow screen sharing in a particular meet, in the main Zoom window, click Security.
And check “Allow participants to share screen.”
And while on the whiteboard if you want others to write on the screen.
Move the cursor to the top of the screen and click, “Enable annotation for others”.
And once the student is done with the screen sharing part, you can go back to the top, to the menu, click More, and click “Disable annotation for others.”
So this is how you can temporarily permit others to annotate and later take over the permissions so that no one else tries to play with your whiteboard.
That was it for this tutorial.
This is how to use a whiteboard in a Zoom meeting to make learning exciting and less tedious.
And less difficult.
And more fun.
Do make sure you download the PDF version of this tutorial for quick future reference.
Other Zoom Tutorials for further reading…
Do check out my other how-to guides on using Zoom for teaching.
How to use Zoom Breakout Rooms for Teaching?
How to use Zoom Cloud Meetings? [complete POWER guide]
Remember to comment if this guide was outstanding, good, average, or horrible; I need your feedback.
Thank you for reading through.
I’ll see you in the next tutorial.