The Virtual Whiteboard for online learning Part 1 – Google’s Jamboard

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
― Albert Einstein

Perhaps you are a bit surprised at both the hour, the day and the month that I am writing this post – two posts in one month? What! However, I shall save you the task of guessing.

I have been asked for my advice on a few things, which I promised to research and write an article on each. One of those is how to get more students engaged in remote learning. This is of course an area that I am also actively learning about. Hence, I am here at your service – to share what I am learning.

Firstly, on the matter of ‘seeing’ what students are doing ‘live’.

The following are my top three virtual whiteboards that address this issue:

  1. Jamboard. This white board is embedded in the Google Meet.

Why I like this:

I am in love with Google’s Jamboard and I have been using it in literally all of my live lessons since the beginning of this year.

  • It gives the ease of being in the same place as my meet.
  • It allows collaboration among my students. In advance of the lesson, I populate the slides with questions and I use the coloured sticky notes feature to put the names of the students I want to work together or alone on the respective slides. Note: I keep a slide with all the names so that I do not have to write these out each time.
  • I can see what each student is working on and give them instant feedback then move on to the next slide to see what another pair or individual student is doing. The art of circulating virtually! #virtualwalk (This hashtag sounds nice to my brain at this moment in time 🙂
  • The Jam is always available! It’s like a book; you write on it and then you can skip through the ‘pages’ to go over your notes.
  • Now, remember how I mention that it is like a notebook – well it’s way better. I can go back and erase and re-write and the students will only see the latest version. Note: please be aware that the students would be able to do this editing also unless you change the editing rights to allow them to only view and not edit. But this is easy stuff.
  • If you do not have a track pad then there is a text box feature for you type or paste your content in.
  • My students love to use this platform. They can make a copy and download this onto their device, for those students who understand what is expected of them – they can continue working on their slides while I am supporting another set of students. Then I can go to their slides to check what they were up to.
  • Also, students can insert pictures of their work from their book/paper onto the jam using their device (but I only advise this if they were struggling to write or finding it too slow)
  • Finally, I could go on and on about this platform because it has become my second best friend for remote teaching. But, I will leave the other goodies and just mention one last pro; you can cut and paste questions/content from another worksheet/past paper or a PowerPoint into the Jam! Woot! Woot! I hope this got you jamming!

Here are two youtube tutorial on how to use Jamboard

https://youtu.be/735gTBjz1JY

https://youtu.be/36ZzwK3ZNfM

Now for the Cons of using Jamboard

I consider myself a fairly fair and objective person, so here are some things Google needs to fix so that the Jam can be a one-stop shop (although competition is always good for the market right)

  • I have not been able to find the maths symbols in Jamboard nor have I seen them in any video tutorial.
  • I have two students who for some weird reasons, can only join the Jam if I paste the link into Google Classroom – they are unable to access this from the Google Meet. (minor issue)
  • the page/slide length could be longer (obviously also a minor issue since this can be remedied by using another slide). Except, if you have a big class size like my friends in Jamaica (you guys are superstars!)
  • Jamboard is not very helpful if you want to see all your students’ screens simultaneously. This brings me to the next two websites:

Drfrost whiteboard and Whiteboard.fi are another two amazing websites that have many features including many of those mentioned above. However, I will write a post reviewing each of them separately so that they get your undivided attention.

  1. Drfrost whiteboard https://www.drfrostmaths.com/whiteboard/
  2. Whiteboard.fi https://whiteboard.fi/

Cheers to some of my Caribbean readers who requested this post.

Let’s get jamming https://youtu.be/RIMxmnfDSOs (Song by Bob Marley & The Wailers)

Best,

Lotoya

Published by lotoyalpt

Passionate, driven and called to be a teacher. My name is Lotoya Patrick-Taylor, a sister, a wife, a mom, a friend and a teacher. I was trained to be a teacher in Jamaica, where I received my Teaching Diploma in Mathematics at Church Teachers' College and my BA in Mathematics from Southern New Hampshire University (Hons) in the U.S.A. I have been teaching high school mathematics for just over eight years. Taught for four years in Jamaica, worked as a mathematics coach and delivered workshops to various maths department. I am currently in my fourth year in the United Kingdom, where I am the Lead teacher of Maths at my school. In addition to being a classroom teacher in the U.K, I am a maths coach and I also deliver training sessions at my school and to a network of schools. Roles I thoroughly enjoy - I love people and I love collaborating, sharing and learning (hence, the reason I decided to start this blog).

5 thoughts on “The Virtual Whiteboard for online learning Part 1 – Google’s Jamboard

  1. Hi, it’s good to learn the features of jamboard; sounds interesting. My issue with jamboard is that its only accessible on a Computer unlike zoom whiteboard that can be used with cellphone or tablet and you get to write on it like a literal white board.
    I will definitely check out the Drfrost whiteboard. Thank you Lotoya for this post and keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sherene, Jamboard can be used on phones. Many of my students use their phones for our Google meet.
      The majority were able to use the link shared in the googlemeet and got on instantly. Few of them had to access the link via Google Classroom.

      However, played around with this myself using my phone and had to download the app but I believe that was because I did not have a Google Meet app on my phone. But it works well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been introduced to Jamborad and I found it somewhat too technical to utilize. For that reason I have been sticking to my classroom’s smart board or the whiteboard on zoom when teaching virtually.

    Your explanation of its features makes it sound super easy and fun to use.

    Thanks for this!
    Will be Jamming soon..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shanine,
      Jamboard does take some getting used to, like other technology. But the process is not long or tedious – once I watched the tutorials above, it took me two lessons to learn most of the features.

      Hope to hear more about your experience with this.

      Liked by 1 person

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