Updated: Nov 17
I have fallen for someone. Ok, something. That something is Google Jamboard. Jamboard is an amazing teacher tool that I, personally, have been underutilizing up until the past few months. If you are a teacher, I ensure you will find great instructional uses for Jamboard. I have provided several Jamboard templates and examples to get you started.
Why Jamboard as an Instructional Tool?
Google Jamboard has a very simple interface that makes it a great introductory EdTech tool. It is similar to a digital whiteboard. From the student perspective, there are under ten features that students will need to interact with. Teachers only have a few more features that can be used to create dynamic digital learning tasks.
If you know me, you know that I love Google Slides. However, Jamboard provides a few different ways for students to interact. The pen tool is fantastic for intuitive digital annotation and drawing tasks. The sticky notes feature is great for brainstorming and collaborating.
The whiteboard nature of Jams provide several ways for students of any age to interact: dragging, drawing, annotating, adding text, and adding images. This is great for amplifying student voice and choice, as well as providing options for varying student needs. For example, younger students who may not write can draw, circle, and sort. Images can be provided for non-readers. Older students can label using text or the pen tool.
Just like Google slides, Jamboards can be individual or collaborative. Collaborative Jamboards are a great way to have students vote and share. If you are wanting to dip your toes into digital collaborative activities, Jamboard’s simplicity is perfect for both students and teachers new to collaborating in a digital space.
And of course, Jamboard is built into Google Workspace for Education making it safe, secure, and seamless.
30+ Jam Examples and Templates
Follow these steps to make a copy of any of these templates:
Open the Jamboard via the link below
Ensure you are logged into a Google account
Select the “ice cream cone” (three dots) icon in the top right corner
Select “Make a copy”
Name the copy
Select “Make a copy”
Each template has multiple frames (frames are to Jams as slides are to Google Slides). Ensure to select the frames at the top of the Jam. This will allow you to delete frames you don’t want. Customize away!
Draggin’ Dots is designed to be a collaborative activity. It is a great introduction to digital collaboration, as students are not adding anything to the Jamboard; they are simply moving their “dot” to their choice. How to drag and drop using a mouse is the only skill needed! I love to do this activity for fun shares or shares that I want to be anonymous.
Classifying and Matching
The freeform layout of Jamboard makes it great for classifying and matching tasks. In these examples, students could use the pen tool to draw lines to the correct matches. Or, sticky notes can be used to label the correct categories. Text, images, and even GIFs can be used to create matching and classification activities.
Drag and Drop
Similar to the classifying and matching examples, students drag and drop text, images, and/or GIFs into the appropriate categories
If learners need to sort items into two categories, use these sorting templates. As with the classifying and matching examples, text, images, and even GIFs can be used for sorting.
Another great collaborative use of Jamboard is voting. The sticky notes feature is great for this. Have students add their name to a sticky note and add that sticky note to their vote.
Think of all the times you have students annotate or label to show their understanding. The pen feature of Jamboard is amazing for this!
If you make the image that students are annotating the background of the frame, you will ensure that students don’t accidentally delete or move the image. This only takes one extra click to accomplish:
Select “Set background”
Select “Google Images”
Search for the image you want to add to the frame
Select the desired image
Select “Set As Frame Background”
If you have any questions about how to use Google Jamboard as a teacher, refer to these Google resources: