We be Jammin' (Jamboarding)
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
I'm going to start out with a shout out to Elisa Wern, an OT/AT colleague from Florida, who motivated me to finally delve into Google's app Jamboard. I participated in an AT Town Hall today and this was the 3rd or 4th time I've heard someone mention Jamboard. Elisa shared out her Google Slides from a presentation that she did for her colleagues (check out her amazing slides!) So, I took some time this evening to learn how to use it on my Windows computer and on my iPad.
What is a Jamboard? It is Google's whiteboard solution. It is interactive and plays nicely with all of the G Suite apps such as Google Classroom and Google Meet. You can share it with students easily, either giving them editing access to manipulate things in real time or view only access so that they can see exactly what you are doing in real time. It works on a variety of platforms, and in the video below I demonstrate use on my computer as well as my iPad. The iPad offers you some additional features, so if you have both tools, make sure you look at both platforms.
I looked at Jamboard from the lens of a Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP) who supports students with complex communication needs. I know many SLPs and teachers who are struggling with how to model communication, using aided language, for students when they don't have access to a document camera or an AAC app.
Check out my Jamboard here.
Jamboards are one more solution for modeling low-tech AAC for students. You can use it for both synchronous or asynchronous learning by screensharing your Jam in a Zoom meeting or Google Meet during a live session. You can share your Jamboard in a variety of ways:
(1) Share it out and have the student view it, each opening it separately. The student could have the Jam open on a split screen by using two separate windows that are resized side by side (one window with your live Zoom/Meet session and the other with the Jam open so that they can see you modeling on the Jamboard and see you reading a story or teaching in the video screen.)
(2) You can share your Jam from your computer screen or share your iPad screen (works well in Zoom). You can use tools such as Screencastify, WeVideo, Zoom/Google Meet, and other screen recording platforms to record asynchronous material to post or email out to students.
I am by no means a Jammin' pro, but I am super excited at how well it works on the fly for adding in visual supports for our learners. Interactive whiteboards are so helpful for being able to prepare material ahead of time so that our students who struggle with attention are not sitting and waiting while we search to present the tools they need to support their learning.
This video on how to create a Jamboard is 15 minutes long, but it's 15 minutes well-spent if you are using Google products in your district for supporting distance learning. The video combined with Elisa's Google slides should be enough to get you started using Jamboard with your students. If you're still wanting to learn more and get more ideas, Sarah Gregory, another SLP posted a great YouTube video on Jamboard, too. If you are doing teletherapy/instruction having access to an interactive whiteboard is a valuable tool. Let me know what you think, and I hope you find it helpful for supporting your students' learning.