This week my school quarantined due to a COVID outbreak. As a result, the next two weeks we are teaching synchronous lessons remotely. Students and teachers are online from 8AM – 3PM; that is A LOT of screen time. How do you keep students engaged in live online lessons?
This semester I have found Google’s Jamboard to be a great chameleon-like tech tool for any content area teacher to utilize. Here are ten suggestions how you can use Google’s Jamboard for collaboration, classroom hooks, showcase understanding, exit tickets, and even assessment. What is even more awesome, you can open or create a Jamboard right in Google Meets.
Now this tool is not all cotton candy and rainbows. An important thing to note is that just like any of Google’s other collaborative tools, once you share a Jam with your class they have full editing power, meaning they could write on any and every sticky note provided for the class (or do a number of other devious things. So, setting clear expectations with students is imperative.
- Stickynote Brainstorming – Ask a question. Students respond and reflect. Jamboard is great for student brainstorming to share their thinking in a collaborative way.
- Annotate a Text – Consider Jamboards a giant whiteboard and the teacher can add print text, a key quote or even a picture. Students can each annotate and write around the text to show thinking and understanding. FYI, if you teach science you might post an image of a cell or rock formation and students flood the board identifying and labeling elements of the image. This video provides more detail how to annotate texts in Jamboard.
- Graphic Organizers – The teachers can use a Jamboard template to create a Frayer Model or Sequence Chart, or Mind Map. Matt Miller of Ditch That Textbook offers lots of graphic organizers for Jamboard you can copy and use in your classroom.
- Jamboard templates – Want more? this post on Ditch that Textbook provides 10 Jamboard templates for distance learning (with Kris Szajner)
- Exit Tickets are easy to create on Jamboard. Students can post something they learned, a question they have or even rate the lesson. The tech fairies recommend for exit tickets, keep it as simple as students dragging their sticky note to a column (or image) that was labeled with what they learned, what was interesting, or a question that they still have.
- SEL – Since many students are learning in isolation being remote, teachers are now being asked to focus on social emotional learning. Beginning your lesson with a check in using emojis, pictures, and icons, and asking how are you feeling allows teachers to take a SEL temperature among students.
- Freewriting & Sketchnoting – Give students the space and time to sketch and write responses, prototypes, even brainstorm story and design ideas. Provide students the opportunity to debrief afterwards and share their thinking with others.
- Storyboarding – Students can put sticky notes of events that happened in a story or book to create a plot pyramid. In History class students can design a timeline or if students are creating a movie they might sketch and write out the types of shots to plan the beginning, middle, and end of the story presenting.
- Show What You Know – Math teachers can use Jamboards for students to show their work and explain how to solve a problem or define a math concept.
- Towering Ideas – Google has a collection of Jamboard activities for students in grades 6-12 that focus on critical thinking and collaboration. You can read more about them in this document: Student Centered Learning with Jamboard.
Before Jamboard I used Padlet and I still am, but as a paid platform I am limited in the amount of padlets I can create using the free version. With Jamboard, I can create unlimited Jamboards and allow for similar collaborative features that Padlet provides. Plus, teachers are getting even more creative using Jamboards for blackout poetry, games, and 6 word stories and more. Perusing social media and Pinterest, you can find lots more ideas to adapt for your own content and students learning.