When I first started reading comments on social media about using Google Jamboard, I immediately, well, Googled it. The first result took me to a site selling a physical interactive whiteboard, which confused me as most people seemed to be using the tool from their homes. Then I realized that while there is a physical board by that name, it is designed to be used with the online tool – also called Jamboard. Happily, the online tool can be used with any device (you can even download an app for it for mobile devices).
Jamboard is similar to Padlet, where multiple contributors can add text, drawings, and images to one whiteboard on the screen. However, Jamboard is completely free, while Padlet is limited to 3 “padlets” before you have to choose a paid version. If your district uses G-Suite tools, including Google Meet, Jamboard is worth using (check to make sure it has been turned on by your district administrator).
As I’ve been working on some curriculum that includes interactive Slides, I was interested in Jamboard because it is another Google tool, and that it allows for drawing. There is not an easy way to add drawings to Slides, (though it can be done, just not directly on the Slides), so I could see how a teacher may use a Jamboard instead of a Slides presentation for student contributions. You can also add Jams to Google Classroom. One feature missing from Jamboard, though, is being able to access a revision history – which you can do in Slides. If your students decide to have a little unsanctioned fun on the Jamboard, that can make it difficult to identify the culprit.
If you decide that Jamboard might be a good fit for your situation, there are plenty of ideas out there for using it with your students. Here are a few resources:
- 10 Google Jamboard Activities from TechFairies (@TechFairies2)
- Jamboard Templates shared by @ESL_Fairy
- 10 Jamboard Templates from Kris Szajner (@KSzajner)
- 6 Google Jamboard Activities Your Students will Love from Rachel Tsateri (@Rachel_Tsateri)
- How to Use Jamboard for Teachers from Luke Edwards
- Google’s Jamboard in Primary Grades from Susan Stewart
- Using Jamboard and Google Docs to Show Math Work from Robert Abraham
- Getting Started with Google Jamboard from Theresa Ducassoux (@MusicalTheresa)