Use RealtimeBoard as a PBL Collaboration Tool

What does RealtimeBoard do?

After the first few weeks of school, many educators are beginning to prepare students to dive deep into problem-based learning (PBL) projects that require research, inquiry, and student collaboration. RealtimeBoard is a technology platform that operates much like a virtual whiteboard with interactive sticky notes upon it; however, ReatimeBoard is designed as a cross-functional team collaboration tool that is ideal for problem-based learning (PBL) projects. The RealtimeBoard platform allows teachers to invite students, other teachers, team members, or other collaborators to join into the discussion on this virtual whiteboard. The RealtimeBoard platform is ideal for creating collaboration opportunities within a classroom, between classrooms in the same school, between classrooms in different schools, between classrooms in different states, and even between classrooms in different countries. The possibilities are endless. Educators can use the RealtimeBoard platform for problem-based learning (PBL) projects by asking students to design their thinking process by arranging notes upon this virtual board. This gives students the opportunity to display their planning ideas and mind-mapping into a process flowchart that makes sense as they are working to solve problems. The RealtimeBoard platform allows students to demonstrate the steps they needed to take within a process and it allows others to be actively engaged in the process. For example, a small group of students can be working on multiple sections of a problem-based learning (PBL) project at the same time and they can each be moving notes around different layouts as they develop the project. Additionally, the teacher can log-in to the group’s RealtimeBoard board to view student progress while it’s happening and make suggestions to guide student learning. Also, RealtimeBoard has an “Upload” component which allows the user to embed links to videos, websites, pictures, office documents, Google Drive files and more. RealtimeBoard effectively helps users with tasks such as: storytelling, prototyping, design thinking, creating digital content, structuring information, mind mapping, brainstorming, receiving feedback, and implementing interactive meetings. Ultimately, RealtimeBoard board allows interactive collaboration without the use of email.

How do I access RealtimeBoard?

Accessing RealtimeBoard is very simple. Go to This webpage will give the user the option to set-up an account. The user will be asked to select a plan. There is a free plan and also a reduced cost plan for educators. Next, the user will be asked to enter demographic information and a six-digit confirmation code will be emailed to the user. The user will be prompted to set-up a team and then invite team members by using either Slack or Gmail. Another option listed is to “Copy an invite link and share it in your corporate messenger”.

How do I use ReatimeBoard?

After the user sets up an account, the user will be prompted with the question: “What would you like to start with?” Next, he/she will be asked to, “Choose one case you want to start exploring RealtimeBoard with and we will show you useful templates, demo boards, and blog articles. You can always look through others later.” The options include: “Brainstorm and organize ideas, Work on UX research and design, Create agile boards and user story maps, and Plan and work on strategy. Start by selecting “Brainstorm and organize ideas.” This will take the user to a screen that has “Create new board” listed on the top left. The listed boards include: Blank board, User Story Map, Flowchart, Brainwriting, and Kanban/Scrum Board. Select “Blank board” to get started. Next, the user will be asked to “Choose a template” from the available templates. After choosing a template, the user will be taken to a screen that has a variety of icons along the margins. The icons listed along the left margin from top to bottom include: A curser or hand to move items around, an icon to choose different templates, a text icon to add text, a colored sticky note adding icon, an add shapes icon, a connecting line icon, a pen to draw icon, an add comment icon, a frame icon, an upload icon that allows uploads from: my device, uploads via URL, saved files, or Chrome Extension. The icons listed along the bottom margin from left to right include: a frame icon to add more frames, a presentation mode icon to present the board to others, a comments icon, a chat icon, a screen sharing icon, a video chat icon, and an activity icon to see what changes others make to the board. Along the top margin the following icons are listed from left to right: a home icon to return back to the start, a title icon to add a title to the board, an export icon to export this board, an undo and redo icon, a share icon that allows the user to invite collaborators, a settings icon, a guide icon, and a search icon to search for other created boards. Finally, after the user adds content, the sticky notes can be moved around to create a collaborative workspace that allows for deep collaboration between team members when implementing problem-based learning (PBL) projects.

Brett  Nordquist

by Brett Nordquist

Brett Nordquist is Faculty of Innovation at Northwest Nazarene University in the Doceō Center. He has a combined twenty years of educational experience in the Boise area. He started in the Weiser School District and then moved to the Westada School District where he served for the last eighteen years. Brett specializes in helping teachers integrate innovative and technological ideas that prove to increase student learning and engagement. Brett has taught all levels of high school, middle school, and elementary second through fifth grade levels. He has been an intern principal, summer school principal, elementary school principal in a Title 1 elementary school, curriculum and instructional specialist, and gifted and talented facilitator. Brett received a bachelor of arts in teaching from Boise State University, a master of education in educational administration from the University of Idaho, an associate’s degree in marketing from American River College, and a State of Idaho endorsement in gifted & talented education. Brett lives in Meridian, Idaho with his wife and their two children. His family enjoys skiing, snowboarding, and backpacking.