How to Use Jamboard App for Online Teaching and Collaboration?

If you are an educator, conducting an online class with Jamboard is a breeze. It can accommodate a threshold of 50 collaborators (students) at a time. Therefore, if your online class consists of 30 student heads, everyone should be able to hop during an active ‘jam’ session. 

With 30 students in, there is still plenty of room for more (20 more students) before you hit the threshold mark of 50.

Jam session participants can view/watch on their devices (mobile phones, tables, desktop/laptop computer) everything that is being done and presented on the Jamboard in real-time. And this happens without necessitating them to be in the same room as the presenter.

online class during COVID

Location of Participants in an Online Learning

Participants in an online class can be in another room or in the next building after the presenter/host of the Jamboard session. Participating students can also come from a different or remote place.

For as long as they have online connectivity, approved participants can join a Jamboard session on their devices. 

Not only can your Jam participants see what you have on the Jamboard, but they can also interact with the presenter with the devices they use. They can do so by commenting on the board with their questions, raising issues, or if they want the presenter/teacher to make some clarifications on the topic/lesson being presented. 

The Jamboard app takes away that usual classroom scenario where the instructor always takes the center stage and instructs the students. It is a kind of linear interaction that impacts learning, and Jamboard intends to change all that by promoting online collaboration and interactivity. 

Let us delve deeper into this now. Before anything else, we need to familiarize with the tools. 

Important Jamboard Tools to Know for Online Learning

If you are an educator, go to the Jamboard Google homepage.

On this page, you should be able to see all the previous ‘jam’ sessions you did in the past. For the first time, users here is how you create a jam: 

  1. Head yourself to the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Go and select the “Add” button. You will be required to supply an appropriate name for your jam session. 
  2. At the top of your screen, you can change your Jam background color. For this, you can opt for a blank slate or dotted lines. You can also go for a lined paper or graph paper. 
  3. Go to the left-hand side of the screen to check out the options on how you can interact with the Jamboard. The pen tool can be used to handwrite your text on the interactive whiteboard. With that, you also get to choose an array of colors to use for the pen tool. 
  4. Next to the pen tool, you have the eraser tool. You use this tool to efface/delete the text you wrote on the board using the pen tool. 
  5. Below the eraser tool, you have the select tool. This usability feature allows you to pre-select selectable items on the interactive whiteboard. 
  6. After the eraser tool, you have the sticky note tool, which comes in different colors for distinction and variety in using them. You can drag the sticky note anywhere on the screen and add your text to it. The sticky note can be resized to your liking or preference, and you can also change its orientation. 
  7. Beneath the sticky note, you have a tool there that allows the user to add relevant images on the interactive whiteboard. Inside this usability tool, users are given an array of different options for images. There is an option to perform a Google image search, load an image from Google Photos, or upload an image file from your local computer drive. 

Like the sticky note, you can resize your uploaded image, duplicate it or change its orientation. You can also drag your uploaded photos anywhere on the screen where you deem most appropriate. 

To emphasize a point on the board. 

Below the image tool, you have the laser tool. This helps you to point to different places on the interactive whiteboard. It is a very useful tool to have when you want your students to focus on something you have on screen. 

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If you want your online class session to be a bit more fun and interesting for your students and not drab and dull, you can choose to install the free Giphy extension. You can do this through the Google Chrome extensions. 

You can then drag and drop your chosen Giphy file anywhere on the board. The same thing goes if you are leaning for Bitmojis instead. 

How to Add Additional Frames to Your Active Jamboard Session

At the top of your screen, there is a navigational arrow. You click on the right, you will add new frames to your whiteboard. These are essential new board panels you can use. 

On the top menu also at the far right corner, you are given an option to download your Jamboard session either as a pdf file or an image file. 

The purpose of using Google Jamboard is to provide an interactive online learning tool where students (session participants) can add to as well.

How to Share Your Jamboard Session to Your Students

To share the Jamboard session with participating students, use the share button at the top part of the menu. This can be found in the right-hand side corner of the screen. 

You will be asked to provide the name of participants (students) you want to share the Jamboard session with.

If you want the student, or another teacher, to be able to write or make edits on the learning session, you need to give them editing access. Choose ‘viewer’ if you are not allowing the participant to make any kind of modification on anything on the Jamboard. Otherwise, you select ‘editor’ instead.

You can do this on the drop-down menu. 

Now to share the Google Jamboard session with everyone in your class, you need to go down to the “Get Link” option. 

Here you are given a chance to change the restricted access to “anyone with the link”. This one time link allows everyone in the class to join your online learning session through Jamboard. 

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