A deep dive into Jamboard – a truly collaborative app

Jamboard is another of the free apps that are part of Google’s G Suite for Education. It essentially turns your smart whiteboard into an interactive tool that can remember whatever you wrote or drew on the board. Everyone in your class can also be invited to join the Jam, meaning people can see the board on their devices even if they aren’t in the room. Not only can they see what you’re putting up, they can also interact from their devices by adding their own drawings or comments.

An app like Jamboard takes your classroom from you dictating to students, to you collaborating with them on lessons. It really takes the concept of a digital whiteboard to a whole new level.

Let’s take a closer look:

Keep a record of lessons for accessing later

One of the best features of Jamboard for a teacher is that you can save every single one of your Jams in Google Classroom. Each board can then be accessed at any time by you or your students. This is particularly helpful for students who were absent on the day of the lesson because they can check out the Jam when they’re back.

Jamboard is also valuable for students who may have to take an extended time off school. They won’t fall behind, because they can either follow along remotely from wherever they are as you give the lesson or they can check out the saved Jams later.

Students will also love the ability to go back and check out the Jams when revising for tests or exams. Additionally, teachers can go back over the year’s Jams and remind thamselves about what worked in lessons and what didn’t when prepping for a new school year.

Work in Jamboard frames

Each Jamboard session can be broken down into frames, allowing you and your students to filter easily through classes and lessons to find the information needed. You and anyone else with editing rights can name each frame in a way that makes sense for the lesson or the brainstorming session.

Another time this can be useful is when kids are working on projects. You can have them all working on the same Jamboard, but on their own frame. Alternatively, help them to set up a frame for each section of their project. This way, they can keep their ideas clear and distinct.

More freedom to brainstorm

Students can really explore the topic of their project or essay by combining traditional mindmaps with images and information from the internet. It’s a seamless move from scribbling out ideas to searching for something on Google, and bringing that new data onto the Jamboard screen.

Students who are working in groups can create one centralised point for their project ideas, which can be shared with each member and you, the teacher. Every member of the group can have editing rights, so they can really collaborate with each other – even if they’re all working from their own homes on the weekend.

Let your students edit

It might seem scary to give your students that much control during a lesson, but it’s a great way to keep them invested during class. You can give all students editing rights on a Jamboard so that they can actually contribute to a class discussion in a visual way. Nothing can beat the feeling of empowerment for a student when they are given the opportunity to drive their own learning.

Once the lesson is done, you can revoke editing access. If necessary, take a moment to clean any parts up from discussions, and then save the Jam to your Google Classroom. The information then will stay as is, making the Jam a valuable resource for studying and project work.

Set up each Jam the way you want it

You get a lot of options for frames on Jamboard. For example, you can have a blank frame for writing and notes, followed by a graph background for working out diagrams in STEM subjects. The app allows you to import images from your Drive folder, from your device and from the internet. The same goes for videos and GIFs. It also recognises handwriting on all touchscreen devices, meaning you can take a stylus and write directly onto your Jam frame. If you prefer typing, that’s also an option.

You don’t need to worry that once you’ve done something, it’s there on the Jam forever. You can undo, erase elements, move things around and even pair or group elements so they move or delete together. It’s also simple to duplicate frames within a Jam.

Jamboard makes your whiteboard smarter

Jamboard really is a nifty, multi-purpose tool for education. It also has so many real-world applications. Students who started using it at school, took took the app with them through to their higher education and are now loving it in their jobs. You should see the notes we take in meetings at the Mobile Guardian offices! Just remember to have fun exploring the options and enjoy collaborating with your students.



Robyn Hobson

Team Mobile Guardian


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