What is it?
Scribblar is like an online whiteboard. To me, it is a less powerful version of Blackboard Collaborate or Adobe Connect. The basic (free) plan lets you have up to 3 “rooms,” with up to 3 users per room for a 14 day trial. You would have to upgrade to another plan to get more users and more rooms (for example, the premium plan gives you 25 users per room and 25 rooms, and costs $39/month).
How does it work?
You sign up for an account with your email address and create a password. Once you have an account, you “create a room.” Then, you can share a link to your room or embed it in your website, and then students join that room to participate in a session in real-time. Students and teachers can write on the whiteboard, upload PowerPoint presentations or other files, add text or pictures, etc. Like Blackboard Collaborate, it has a text chat box for all participants in the room, or you can use your microphone/video to speak. Users can take a snapshot of the whiteboard or export it to a PDF, so they can easily review what was covered in the session at a later time. This video show some of the basic features in Scribblar, and also lets you see what a Scribblar board looks like:
Strengths, Limitations, and Applications
I personally wasn’t a fan of the “look” of Scribblar – to me, it felt too institutional and Blackboard-ish. In other words, I think it could’ve been designed to be more eye-catching and more user-friendly. Its technology just felt kind of out-of-date (for example, the icons remind me of old Microsoft Word, and I had to login almost every time I navigated away from the website, which was a pain). With so many options for ed tech out there, these characteristics alone would probably push me to look for different tool instead of using Scribblar.
I could see Scribblar being useful under these (limited) conditions: (1) an instructor doesn’t have access to other collaboration tools, like Blackboard Collaborate or Adobe Connect, and (2) an instructor needs to be able to virtually collaborate with only a handful of students (i.e., like online office hours, individual tutoring sessions, etc.).