Looking for ways to spice up remote learning? Are you struggling for some new ideas to engage in-person learners with virtual ones? Google Jamboard to the rescue! Jamboard is essentially an interactive whiteboard, great for instruction or discussion! Use Jamboard to demonstrate solving math problems, or as a place for students to share their thinking about a picture from history. Students can discuss virtually using the sticky notes. Even better, if you are a Google Meet, user, it is already connected to the setting in Google Meet!
Give Me the Details
First off, Jamboard is super user friendly. If you use any of the Google Suite already like Docs, or Slides, Jamboard has very similar tools. As long as you are signed into Google, you can access Jamboard by going to https://jamboard.google.com/. It is also available through Google Drive for Jams you have started and saved or the Google Waffle with all of your Apps. Once you are in Jamboard, just click the orange plus sign and a new Jam will open! Lots of ways to get to the app. The other way to open a Jamboard is through a Google Meet. When you are in the Google Meet, simply go to the three dot menu and “Whiteboard: Open a Jam” will be one of the options! Anyone in the meeting will have access and be able to view the Jamboard! Use it for demonstrations or collaboration!
Let’s Talk Tools
On the side of your Jamboard there will be a toolbar with a bunch of ways to interact with the digital whiteboard. First you have a pen. The pen is just that, a pen. Write on the whiteboard just like you would on a real one! Next is an eraser for that pen! You have a pointer so that you can point on your screen for students to follow along. Then there are the very cool sticky notes. Sticky Notes are great for students to use to collaborate. If you have young students, you may even set up the sticky notes ahead of time with their name on a sticky note to know where to add their own answers.
Since this is a Google product, you can add images from your Drive, take images, find images on Google to add or even insert a document from your Google Drive to share with students! Upload those math problems and you can use your pen tools to demonstrate how to solve them! Upload a reading passage and annotate while students read!
The next tool is a circle. I love circles for creating mind maps for brainstorming or setting up different organized activities for students. Put the character’s name in the middle and use the sticky notes to characterize your main character!
After the circle tool is a text box! If you don’t want to use the pen, no big deal, just add a text box like you would in any other Google product and you can type right in the box!
Lastly, is the laser tool. Similar to the arrow, but use it as a pointer for students to really concentrate on what you are focusing on.
The top toolbar has a few more classic features like undo, zoom in and one of my favorites for Jamboard, “Set Background.” You can use classic colors here, but there are also options for lined paper and graph paper! Those can definitely come in handy once in a while!
A few other options are in the three dots in the top right corner. You can easily rename the Jamboard to easily access it again in your Google Drive. You can download as a PDF to save and post in Google Classroom for students, but where they won’t be able to edit as a reference for the lesson. You can also save as an image!
Some Other Ideas
Jamboard can easily be used as a visual for students that are interactive. Google Slides are great, but when the need to demonstrate a math problem comes along, Jamboard is a great tool.
If you are interested in student collaboration or group work, Jamboard works great. Want to do small groups? Assign a page on the Jamboard to each group! You can have up to 50 people on the Jamboard collaborating at once! Are you a fan of KWL charts? Jamboard would be great for getting to know what students know and giving students a visual to refer back to! Use images for social studies and science and allow students to really explore what they know while interacting rather than just watching! If students are too young to type themselves, record their answers for them and give them the ownership they all crave! Jamboard definitely helps with student ownership that has certainly become more difficult in the remote or hybrid learning world!
Jamboard is Google Suite friendly, easy to navigate, compatible with Google Meet and has so many options for great teaching, collaborating, modeling, and keeps the students on their toes! Try it out today!
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