February 23, 2015

App Lets Tablets Interact With Digital Whiteboards

By Rob Klindt, Contributing Writer | Literacy Resources

When new high-tech devices started appearing in American classrooms in the early 2000s, one item quickly emerged as a favorite among many K-12 teachers: the interactive whiteboard. Using document cameras with new projection and audio technology, teachers were able to add new multi-sensory elements to classroom presentations.

Logo for the Lensoo interactive white board appToday’s whiteboards have gone digital thanks to tablet technology. The cumbersome cameras, projectors, stylus pens and audio speakers used in the past are now combined into a single hand-held unit powered by a digital app.

A good educational digital app that teachers should consider using to create classroom presentations is “Lensoo Create.” The free app works with most newer tablets and lets teachers add audio, video and digital writing to their presentations with just a tap of a finger.

Presentations can be made on a variety of subjects and can be published on the Lensoo Create website by creating a free account. Presentations can be saved in a private folder or shared with other “Lensoo Create” users. There are several categories where teachers can save their presentations and download presentations made by others. They include:

  • Arts & Music
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Math
  • Science
  • Technology

Once their presentations are saved onto their tablet or published online, teachers can quickly share them with students through email or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

How it works

The “Lensoo Create” app has an intuitive interface that teachers can navigate through a series of clickable icons. Documents are created in real time using a versatile palette of tools that allow teachers to customize the look and feel of their projects.

Selections include:

  • Page background. Users can select a background of ruled or graph paper, a blackboard or a custom color for their project.
  • Draw settings. A pen tool lets users write text or draw images by dragging their finger across the tablet screen. Line thickness and custom colors can also be set.
  • Eraser. Users can delete text, drawings and images with a swipe of their finger.
  • Text. This tool brings up a keypad that lets users input text that can be displayed in four fonts, in any color and in any size. Text also can be displayed vertically and dragged anywhere on the screen.
  • Image. Users can input images from their tablet’s camera or photo album directly into their document. Images and PDF files also can be imported from cloud-storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud while connected to the Internet.
  • Shapes. A collection of 30 prebuilt shapes including arrows, lines, cones and stars can be inserted to illustrate documents.

In addition, real-time audio recordings can be made to add narration, sound effects or music to each project using the tablet’s built-in microphone. Audio recordings can be as long as 15 minutes.

It’s important to note that once a project is saved, it can’t be edited again.

What’s included

Content in the “Lensoo Create” website is all-inclusive, and there is no in-app advertising. Once the app has been downloaded onto a device, most app functions will work without an Internet connection. However, an Internet connection is needed to download content from external websites or share documents with others via email or over social networks.

An upgraded version of the app that includes a text highlighter, extra shapes and illustrations, and real-time video recording is available for $4.99. A monthly subscription plan is available that also includes unlimited watermark-free high-definition downloads. The cost is $1.99. Visit the Lensoo Create website.

Download details

The basic “Lensoo Create” app is free. It can be downloaded through Google Play and is compatible with digital tablets running the Android operating system 4.0 or later. The app is also available on iTunes and is compatible with iPad tablets running iOS version 7.0 or later.

Rob Klindt’s “App Reviews” combine his passion for writing with an ever-growing interest in educational technology. His simple, straightforward approach to reviewing educational apps help educators and parents leverage new tools for students in and out of the classroom.

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