using Realtimeboard for teaching English online

I want to share an absolutely fantastic tool for online use:

As I already told, now I teach online, using Skype. When I was preparing for my first online lesson, I was feeling very uneasy – first of all, because I needed some shared space, something that both me and my student will be able to see and use. Something similar to a whiteboard (or, let’s be honest, just an A4 for most of the one-to-one classes) to jot down all the new words, ideas, great language usage and mistakes to correct, and even some drawings (always awful, in my case). Initially, I was going to try sharing my screen in Skype. And then I came across a great resource. I am not sure that ELT usage was the creators’ first priority,  and I can see very well how such a board can be used for some virtual teams, but for me this seems a perfect tool.

You can upload there almost anything you want: video files, pdf files (I even uploaded an electronic version of InCompany, and both my student and I could turn the pages just there, on the board!), pictures. You can make notes and put some post-its on it! And what’s more, you (and students) can move them all around, zoom in and zoom out, change colours and fonts! I am quite sure I haven’t expolred all the board’s possibilities yet…

Here are some of my latest screenshots:

:screen 2

I used Post-its to train some socialising vocabulary, the student had to match the beginnings with the endings

screen 3

Here I used a image to revise those socialising phrases, and made a gapfill. on the right you can the see the InCompany

screen 4

this is from our first lesson, post-its where we put some of our objectives for the course. A kind of “learning contract”


Aanother lesson: InCompany, some revision, a story with mistakes to revisit vocabulary, and some grammar cutouts from different books.



About Svetlana Urisman (Englishteachingnotes)

I am an ADOS and an English teacher (and materials writer) in a language school in Moscow. I have been an ADOS and a teacher trainer for almost a year now and a teacher for about 5 years. I am keen to share some ideas and materials I've developed in order to take them further and not to forget or lose them You are welcome to use any materials represented in this blog, and I will be happy to get your feedback afterwards if you take them to your classroom! ;-)
This entry was posted in authentic materials, Business English, materials writing, useful links, vocabulary and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to using Realtimeboard for teaching English online

  1. Fran Davies says:

    Very nice! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Privet, Svetlana! Thanks for sharing the info on real time board – I’d heard of idroo, but this was something new. I’m a British English teacher but spent 10 years living in Russia. I now speak Russian fluently (my wife is Russian) and I teach Russians using Skype from the UK. I’m always interested in new ways to improve the experience. I penned an article on Skype functionality for my teaching blog – – you may find this of use, especially the “secret functions” like message editing. Imagine what we’ll be able to do in several years from now when holographic technology is more developed! We’ll be beamed into students’ living-rooms from the other side of the planet! Exciting times.

  3. esgaleth says:

    Reblogged this on Teaching English: Ins & Outs and commented:
    It looks very much like what I’ve been looking for. Thanks

  4. diaaattia says:

    Hi, I invite you to share your experience with our community

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