Using Scribblar for Teaching ESL/Literacy in Distance Learning

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Disclaimer: ESL Teacher’s Notebook is not affiliated with However, as an ESL practitioner involved in Distance Education, I use Scribblar every day and it has become my essential teaching and assessing tool.

1. What is Scribblar?

  • A real time white board application
  • Website address: 
  • Created by Stefan Richler

2. How do you start with Scribblar?

  • Download Adobe Flash Player:
  • Sign up for an account
  • Create ‘Room’
  • Explore the features

3. What features are currently available?

  • Live audio with a two-way microphone
  • Text chat
  • Free hand tool
  •  Text tool
  • Highlighting tool
  • Multiple pages
  • Flickr stream
  • Can upload files (PDF/PowerPoint/jpg/PNG)
  • Stefan fine-tunes the application regularly

4. How can Scribblar be used for language teaching?

Vocabulary Activities:

  •  Matching
  • Grouping
  • Odd one out
  • Brainstorming
  • Crosswords
  • Wordsearch

Reading Activities:

  • Comprehension
  • Gap fill
  • Phonemic awareness activities
  • Fluency reading
  • Language Experience Approach Activities
  • Oral reading

Writing Activities:

  • Collaborative writing
  • Editing
  • Process writing
  • Writing Frames
  • Dictation
  • Text reconstruction
  • Correction/editing
  • Sequencing
  • Making sentences

5. Is Scribblar user-friendly?

Scribblar is incredibly easy to use. However, here are some tips:

  • Spend some time on exploring the tool yourself before using it with a student
  • Plan and prepare in advance
  • Teach your students how to use it
  • Name your rooms effectively for future use

6. Can Scribblar lessons be recorded?

Yes. However, you will need to use screen casting software. Some suggestions:

7. What are the advantages of using Scribblar for Distance Learning?

  • Increased student engagement
  • Suitable for all language levels
  • Learners do not need to sign up
  • Learners can return to the board any time and revise the materials from the previous lessons
  • Nothing to download
  • Variety of activities to try
  • Work can be saved (*can be used for assessment tasks)
  • Easy to use
  • Fun to use

8. What support is available to Scribblar users?

Stefan responds to emails efficiently and promptly.


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