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BitPaper Review 2019

It’s time for a new BitPaper review. Why? Because BitPaper just updated its collaborative online whiteboard and have launched a shiny new website. Let’s see if it’s still as good as when I first reviewed it over a year ago. 

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First up, the website looks great and clearly explains how BitPaper works but have they fixed the 3 minor issues that stopped me just short of giving it 10 out of 10 in my previous review of BitPaper?

1. Last time there wasn’t a tool to select and move/delete/resize images that were added to a paper. Now there is. Not only can I manipulate my pictures now, I can also do the same with text and drawings. Good start team BitPaper.

Select tool for BitPaper

2. In the past, papers didn’t save automatically so unless you saved them manually, they’d disappear. Not cool. Now they autosave, which is much better and one less thing to think about.

Autosaving in BitPaper

3. The only other small gripe I had was that I couldn’t minimise the video window during a BitPaper call so my student’s talking head would get in the way of my paper during the lesson. I’m pleased to see that I can now choose between a hidden window, a small window in the top left-hand corner and even a full screen ‘theatre mode’.

So that’s 3 out of 3 for improvements to BitPaper and that’s what I love about this online whiteboard. The team behind BitPaper listen to feedback from their users and then go and make their app even better.


What else is new?

Aside from the new select tool, autosaving feature and improved video window layout, there’s a game changing upgrade that I’m especially excited about…

Screen sharing.

I use screen sharing in every one of my online tutoring lessons. Being able to quickly show a website or video or something other than a picture or text on my computer makes my online lessons so much more interesting and useful for my students. It’s one of the main reasons I’ve used Zoom rather than Skype to call students, because their excellent screen sharing function gives me complete control of the lesson and opens up a world of exciting online lesson content. Now that BitPaper have added screen sharing to their integrated video calling feature, you can do everything in one place. That means no more jumping between your video call app (like Zoom or Skype) and your lesson materials on BitPaper. Online tutoring just got even easier for you and your students!

To start sharing your screen, simply click the phone icon in the bottom left hand corner to start a voice or video call, then click the screen share button and select ‘share’.

Screen sharing with BitPaper

Stay organised with BitPaper Tags

Over the past 7 years of tutoring online, I’ve taught thousands of online lessons, which means a ton of online lesson materials. Thankfully from day one I decided to stay organised and created online folders within my Google Drive for each of my students. That means I can keep track of what they’ve studied, how many lessons they’ve had and with a couple of clicks, quickly find the right online materials. Now rather than folders, BitPaper have introduced a handy way for you to organise your papers with ‘tags’.

Step 1: When saving your BitPaper lesson, you can add a tag (like the name of your student). 

Step 2: Open ‘My Papers’ and write the name of a tag in the search bar or select one from the drop-down menu to quickly find all of the lessons for that one student.

Tags with BitPaper
Multiple tags with BitPaper

You can also add multiple tags to each paper. So, let’s say you teach both maths and English to your student Sarah, you could add the tags ‘Sarah’ and ‘Maths’ to your algebra lesson and the tags ‘Sarah’ and ‘English’ to your grammar lesson.

Searching for the tag ‘Sarah’ would show you all of her lessons but if you only want to view her maths lessons, search for both ‘Sarah’ and ‘Maths’. Now that’s a pretty cool way to stay organised.


Reorder your boards

Running out of whiteboard space has never been an issue with BitPaper because I can keep adding new boards to my paper. This useful feature has also had un upgrade so now I can reorder my boards by dragging them around or clicking the up and down arrows. This is great because it gives me complete control either before or during the lesson to create materials that are organised and exactly where I want them. 

The ‘duplicate’ button is the icing on the cake for those times when I want to quickly create similar content like one board with an exercise and another board with the same exercise + answers.

Reorder boards with BitPaper

Add text and symbols

Next to the new tool for adding shapes, you’ll see the ‘T’ tool for adding text. I was pleased to see that you can now add text straight to a specific point on your board (rather than through a pop-up window) and there’s also the option to increase text size and add symbols. It’s a minor upgrade but worth mentioning because as an English tutor, I’m always adding text to my online materials so anything that makes this process easier and faster gets a thumbs up from me.

Add text in BitPaper

Note: The text won’t show on your student’s board until you click away from the text or click ‘done’. I’d love to see real time text writing in a future update…


Conclusion

Ok, let’s quickly recap. The new and improved BitPaper now has:

  • A select tool so you can move, resize and delete anything
  • Autosaving papers so you never lose your work
  • A customisable video sharing window
  • Screensharing so you can share anything in real time
  • Tags to keep all your Papers organised and easy to find
  • Boards that you can reorder and duplicate for instant customisation
  • An upgraded text tool to easily insert text and symbols

And that’s on top of all the other cool features that BitPaper already had like real time collaboration on whiteboards with unique URLs, built in video and audio calls with text chat, a super smooth writing tool and the ability to export your paper as a PDF.

All of these upgrades are great and welcome additions but what I love most about Bitpaper is that it’s still quick and easy to get started so if you or your student are new to online tutoring, you've got nothing to fear! With built in video calling, unlimited whiteboard space and screensharing, everything you need to tutor online is now in one place. BitPaper has made online tutoring even easier than ever and your students will love your professional online lessons. 

To share your experience of using BitPaper with other online tutors, keep updated about cool new features and collaborate with the friendly BitPaper team, join the BitPaper Facebook community here.

And as always, post your comments and questions in the comment box below. I’d love to hear what you think about tutoring online with BitPaper.

Matt Thompson
 

Matt is an online English tutor and founder of Smart Online Tutoring. He's a big fan of technology and when he's not teaching or helping others with their online tutoring businesses, you'll find him on the badminton court.

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