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Tips and Tricks for Teaching with Google Jamboard

Google Jamboard
(Image credit: Google)

Google Jamboard is a tool being used by schools worldwide as a way to engage with students better. This applies both to the physical touchscreen display itself, in class, and the Jamboard platform that also works across devices remotely.

But if you're on this page then you've probably already either tried or have access to a Jamboard and simply want to make sure you're getting the most out of it. 

Since the Jamboard is a collaborative workspace, it's a great way to get a class working together. The amazing thing about Jamboard is that it's another way to offer remote learning too, since the collaborative experience can be enjoyed through a computer from anywhere.

So, even though Jamboard was initially designed with business meetings in mind, it's actually a super powerful school tool. If you know how to use it right, of course. So read on to find the best ways to use Google Jamboard in the classroom and beyond.

Use the Jamboard remotely

Google Jamboard

(Image credit: Google)

As remote learning continues to grow, tools such as Google Jamboard are more useful. For teachers who are already holding classes using video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Meet, this is a superb addition.

Use Jamboard as a whiteboard as if you are right there with the students, no matter where they are. Since you're able to screen share using Jamboard, a student can see what you're doing, live, as well as anyone in your video feed. So for example, you can talk through an equation as you're working it out live on the screen. 

Since Jamboard is collaborative, you can always keep you students on their toes by asking them to take over an equation, say, from their computer. That should help keep students focused, knowing they could be called on at any moment. 

Use shapes to highlight

Google Jamboard

(Image credit: Google)

A really useful tool is frame boxes, which allow you or students to highlight sections of text or numbers. For example, as the above image shows, you could teach nouns by getting students to put the right color box around the noun in a chunk of text.

Frame boxes are made easily since Jamboard lets you set the fill color as transparent when making a shape. So draw an oblong, set the fill as "transparent," and then make the border colors whatever you want. Students can then duplicate these boxes for use them in the exercise.

If you want to get this done really quickly, grab this template and work from there.

Grab text for annotation feedback

Google Jamboard

(Image credit: Google)

A great way to engage students in live work so you can see their thought processes is by using annotations. This allows you to grab text by just taking a screenshot from your computer, smartphone camera roll, and so on. Drag this in, with multiple options in one place. Then use the colored boxes, mentioned above, to allow students to add annotations.

Students can also drag the boxes to important parts of the text they want to highlight. This works particularly well if you're asking them to find a certain theme, for example, using different colored boxes for each type.

Grab a template here to get you started.

Build a story as a class

Google Jamboard

(Image credit: Google)

Jamboard really comes into its own by enabling you to create a story as a class. For example, each student can add an image while the next one adds text to describe how it fits into the flow of the story.

Mix and match with adding words and images, just images or just words. You can even pick a student to go next rather than going in order to make sure everyone is paying close attention throughout.

Give it a try using this template.

Jam the entire class

Google Jamboard

(Image credit: Google)

A great way to get the entire class involved and to pull in lots of ideas is to use Jamboard for a class discussion, which allows you to give each student a frame so they can enter information without anyone else seeing. 

For example, you can set a question or task and have each student respond. You can then share what everyone has offered, or one student at a time. This allows you to get different responses and perspectives. You can share the responses as a group or you, as a teacher, can see individual ones and share what you feel is useful to direct the lesson.