By now, whiteboards have replaced chalkboards in most classrooms, and good dry erase markers are worth their weight in gold. The next logical step? Digital whiteboards! With many schools relying on online learning these days, a digital whiteboard app like Google Jamboard makes collaboration easy, no matter where students and teachers are. Here’s the scoop on this EdTech must-have.
What is Google Jamboard?
Jamboard is a whiteboard app that’s part of Google’s G Suite, like Google Slides or Google Classroom. The app was designed to be used with Google’s interactive 55-inch cloud-powered whiteboard display, which comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Fortunately, the completely free Jamboard app works perfectly well on its own with the laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets you’re already using in your classroom.
Teachers set up a Jamboard and invite students to collaborate. Kids can add notes (using a keyboard, stylus, or fingertip), post images, draw pictures, and more. There’s no limit to the number of boards you can have or how many students can collaborate. You can save your boards, export them as PDFs, and share them with your students via Google Classroom or other learning management systems. You’ll find lots of Jamboard tutorials and training from Google here.
Jamboard Ideas and Activities For Teachers
Anything your whiteboard can do, Jamboard can too … and a whole lot more. Here are some of our favorite free templates, activities, and other ideas to try with your class. To use a Jamboard template, be sure to save a copy of it to your Google Drive first. Then you’ll be able to edit and use it with your students.
1. Handwriting Templates
Demonstrate handwriting, then have students take turns copying your work. Get five different handwriting templates from Alice Keeler.
2. Magnetic Letters
Magnet letters are a classic learning toy, so we love this digital version! Grab this activity from Third Grade Doodles.
3. Base 10 Blocks
When you don’t have enough base 10 blocks to go around, or need to use them in an online setting, try this digital version. Find the template here.
4. Morning Meeting Calendar
Take your morning meeting online! This interactive Jamboard calendar has room for weather, seasons, and counting practice. Get it here.
5. Place Value Grid
Practice place value with this template. Remember that you can change the numbers on the digital sticky notes, so you can use this over and over again! Add it to your collection here.
6. See, Think, Wonder
Teach kids how to question the world around them by creating thinking routines. This emoji template is cute enough for younger kids, but the process works at any age. Find it here.
7. Make a Graph
Digital sticky notes make it easy to graph just about anything in Jamboard. Learn more about this idea from Chromebook Classroom.
8. Vocabulary Words
This one’s easy, fun, and very effective. Simply make a board for each of your current vocabulary words, and ask students to contribute sticky notes, images, or other items to help define it. Learn more from Third Grade Doodles.
9. Take a Poll
Divide a board into several parts and ask students to place a sticky note with their name next to their choice. For a deeper dive, have them write the reason for their choice on the note too. Find out more from Spark Creativity .
10. Brain Dump
Brain dumps are great for review or exit tickets. Students record anything they can remember on a topic or concept. This is also a fun way to introduce a new subject and find out what kids already know. See how it works at Chromebook Classroom.
11. Numerical Equations
Tackle word problems with this template. Show students how to break down the information and lay it out into an equation to get the correct answer. Get this template for free at Teachers Pay Teachers.
12. Peer Editing
Use this template to help students edit each other’s creative writing. You can edit the directions to use it with non-fiction writing, like essays, too. Find the template here.
13. Sorting Wall
You can use a sorting wall in pretty much any class, for any subject. Have students sort animals or plants in biology, vocab words in English or foreign language classes, presidents in history class … the possibilities are endless! Get the details from Chromebook Classroom.
14. Sentence Maker
Think of this idea sort of like the ever-popular magnetic poetry. Students choose words and create a sentence, adding correct punctuation. Keep it simple with just a few words for younger students; add more words for older kids. Explore this idea at The TEFL Zone.
15. Shapes and Patterns
Jamboard’s built-in shape tool makes it easy to learn basics like triangles, circles, and squares. You can also work on recognizing and building patterns. Susan Stewart has more information.
16. Digital Yearbook
Virtual school and social distancing make it hard for kids to get together and sign each others’ yearbooks. Try a Jamboard instead! Each student creates their own and offers it up for friends to sign. Clever! Read more at Chemistry Is My Jam.
17. Label a Diagram
Post a diagram and have students label and explain the parts. Use it for science topics, or try it for timelines in history class or parts of sentences in English. Get this free cell diagram template here.
18. Compass Viewpoint
The world is full of shades of gray, especially when it comes to opinions and viewpoints. Use this template to explore a variety of points of view on any subject. Find it here.
19. Annotate a Reading
Jamboard makes it easy to annotate text in collaboration with your class. Look for themes, identify literary devices, illustrate concepts, and more. Learn more from Spark Creativity .
20. Quadradic Equations
Graph quadratic equations on this template. It has several built-in problems, but you can edit and add your own to reuse it multiple times. Get the template for free on Teachers Pay Teachers.
How do you use Jamboard with your class? Come share your ideas on the WeAreTeachers Helpline Facebook group!