Author: Marshall Beyer | Read Time: ~ 7 minutes
So I don’t know about you but all the craze I am hearing about is Jamboard! Teachers are finding some awesome ways to use it in their classrooms. Today, let’s talk about some of the ways you can use Jamboard in your classroom to get your students more engaged, have them show their learning, and collaborating with other classmates.
Jamboard is a collaborative platform made by Google. In Jamboard, you can write, draw, search and insert images, add sticky notes, shapes, text, and much more right to your Jam. Like Google Slides, you can add multiple frames to your Jam. The software is made to use with the physical Jamboard device but teachers are learning amazing ways to use the software without the physical device.
Jamboard makes it really easy for your students to show their learning. For example, in math, you can have students work out a problem right there on their Jam! This is great, for example, if you are teaching a concept like division and want to make sure that students are understanding the concept. Not only can students show their work, but utilizing the sticky note feature, they can add notes explaining their thinking in text.
In science, students could use sticky notes to label and describe the parts of an cell. The teacher could have the Jam setup with an image of a cell and students would then add sticky notes to the board labeling and explaining the different parts of the cell.
In ELA, students could use the features of a Jamboard to describe a character. Depending on how you set it up, each slide could be talking about what a specific character in the novel you are reading thinks, said, or did. The teacher could have questions placed on the top of each slide and then students add their sticky note to a shared Jamboard.
If you are teaching littles, you could use Jamboard to have your students practice their letter formation. The teacher could have the letter that they are working on placed on the Jamboard frame and the utilizing the pen tool, students could practice tracing the letter (This would obviously be ideal if your students had a touch device).
In all of these examples, you are adding some type of image to your Jamboard, whether that be a screenshot of a math problem from your curriculum, an image of a cell, or an image of the letter a student is working on. To ensure that the students do not alter the image in any way, you can set it as your Jamboard’s background! that way the students see the image, but they cannot move it or delete it. To do this, open you Jamboard and you will see a Set background button toward the top of the page. click on it and instead of choosing a color, choose the image option. Find the image you would like to add to your Jamboard and you are all set!
Jamboard is awesome for collaboration. You could set up a collaborative Jamboard for groups and have them storyboard and brainstorm on a collaborative story. Since you are able to add images and text to a Jamboard, you could have students use a Jamboard frame as their brainstorm for their story and add frames to write out their story. Students could add images from sites like Unsplash who offer royalty free images. This is a great way to also weave in some digital citizenship and have students site their images.
You could also hav groups collaborative work together on a Jamboard to annotate text using shapes to highlight main ideas and key details. Then, using the trusty sticky note, explain/justify thinking of their annotation. You couls use a Jamboard to allow groups to create a collaborative poster. Maybe you are doing research on difference regions so you could have groups create an informative poster describing their region in a Jamboard.
Another way you could use Jamboard with your class as a collaborative tool is small group note taking. While on a video call, you could have students in breakout rooms according to their groups. In those breakout rooms, students could work on a collaborative Jamboard to take notes on a chapter of a novel you are reading as a class or an article the class is reading.
When it comes to distributing Jamboard as a collaborative tool, you have a few options. One way is to distribute through Google Classroom. To do this, create an assignment and attach the Jamboard to that assignment. If it is somethign the entire class is going to contribute to, then set it to Students Can Edit. That way, everyone is editing the same board. If it is something that you just want a specific group to work on, attach the board to your assignment. Then, on the right-hand side you will see a button that says All Students. Click that, uncheck All Students, and check the students you would like to have access to this board. Note, you will hav to repeat this for each group you have. For example, if I have 6 groups, I will need to make six separate Jamboard boards, make six separate assignments, attach each corresponding board with the correct assignment, and select the students for each group.
Another way you could distribute these is, in their groups, have a student create their own Jamboard and then share it with the other members of their group. Then either share it with you as well or, in Google Classroom, they can add it to the corresponding assignment. To do this, the student goes into Google Classroom, opens the assignment, and then on the right-hand side, they will see two buttons: Add or Create. They would click Add and choose Google Drive. From there, they would find their Jamboard and add it to the assignment.
Now, if you want to take this to the next level, you can combine the awesomeness of Jamboard with one of my all-time favorite apps, Flipgrid. Recently, Flipgrid added the ability to screencast. This is a game changer! You can now have students explain their thinking using their own voice! To achieve this, have your students open the topic in Flipgrid and click on the Record a Response button. From there, have them click the Options button and choose Record Screen. The they will click Start screen recording. A window will pop up where they can choose to record their entire screen, application window, or Chrome Tab. Hav them choose Chrome Tab and choose their Jamboard tab. Then click share. Now the student can express their learning with their voice explaining what they did on their Jamboard. When they are finish, they can click the stop button art the top of the window. Then they will head on back to the Flipgrid tab. There they can use Flipgrid’s buit-in editing features and post it to the grid. Now fellow classmates can see their video and provide feedback, ask questions, or give words of affirmation.
As you can see, there are many ways to use Jamboard in the classroom. How are you using Jamboard? Got some cool tips, tricks, and ideas? Share them with me on Twitter! @MarshallBeyer29
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