Google Jamboard is one of the lesser-known apps available in Google Suite. The Jamboard is a nifty online, collaborative whiteboard. It is simple and user-friendly, so it’s quick for students and teachers to learn. Because it’s part of Google, it also integrates with Google Classroom. Jamboards are great visual tool for brainstorming, organizing a host of ideas,mindmapping, and storyboarding. I think of it like a virtual sticky-note board that lets me move everything around and never runs out of room.
How to Create a Jamboard
Find Your Jamboard
From your Google Drive, click New -> More and then select Google Jamboard.
Now you have a blank canvas (called a frame) to create!
Notice at the top that you can keep adding more and more frames to the same board. It’s possible to have your whole class on one Jamboard, with a frame for each student.
There are some cool tools to select along the sidebar: pens and markers, text boxes, sticky notes (my favorite), and the ability to add images, animation, and shapes. There is even a laser pointer!
Text boxes and sticky notes will automatically resize the text when you resize the box. I love that!
Choose a Background
There are only a few backgrounds to choose from, but they work fine. I personally like to upload a great big image as a background because they look pretty, but that image is easily moved or deleted. (If the Google Gods are listening, it would be AMAZING to be able to upload a background that locked! Please please please please!)
Now that you have your first board, start creating!
The example at the right is a rif on our More Brains are Better resource. With this example, share this Jamboard template with four students. Each writes an individual thought on a separate sticky, then they work together to form the thought in the middle from everyone’s ideas.
The template for this Jamboard is available as a freebie to you. Get it by CLICKING HERE!
Some Jamboard Tips
Because there are less of the standard Google tools available in Jamboard, you sometimes want more features. There is a limited selection of colors, and you can’t change the font. Also, a big consideration for teachers is Jamboard does not have Revision History, which is why it is better suited to quick brainstorms instead of more involved group projects.
More Jamboard Ideas
Here are just a few ideas for Jamboards: Venn Diagrams, A Question of the Day board, Classroom Graphs, Brainstorming Sessions, and (my fave) An Appreciation Wall. You can even start a new wall (frame) every day and have a collection of appreciations for your students to scroll through! (I wish you could see how that cute little green bean is when he’s animated!)
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