When Google debuted the Google Jamboard, it seemed unlikely a $5,000 piece of hardware had any implications for education. However, Jamboard was created to facilitate collaboration and to do so, Google created an Android app and an iTunes app so collaborators can participate in a Jam remotely. The app is free and does not require the Jamboard device to work. If your students have iPads or Play Store enabled Chromebooks, they can collaborate in the app tomorrow. Owners of a Jam can invite others to collaborate, just like in other G Suite apps and Google Hangouts can occur inside a Jam.
This post is about the Jamboard app, not the Jamboard device. The device is $5,000. The app is free. Now that we have that out of the way, please continue reading and consider ways the app could be used in your classroom.
To start, have a look at this video and imagine yourself and your students doing this not on a $5,000 Jamboard, but on an iPad or Chromebook.
Looks like fun, doesn’t it? To see what this looks like on a device and not the Jamboard, have a look at me playing with the app on my Chromebook:
Peruse this ThingLink for videos showing specific Jamboard app functions:
I enjoy using the Jamboard app on my Chromebook and showing it to colleagues:
Divvy up topics in a unit to groups in your class. Each group is responsible for creating a Jam about their topic. At the end of the unit, the class can have a Jam Gallery Walk. Additionally, new students can catch up by being added as a collaborator in each Jam. That’s a lot more fun and useful than copying notes!
The Jamboard app was not designed for this purpose, but I have to say it is the best Android app for jotting notes on a Chromebook. I like using Squid and the Google Keep Android app for jotting notes but Jambord is even better. Jamboard has four pens, handwriting recognition, shape recognition, and auto draw.
More room to jot is always available by adding a new frame to a Jam. Simply click on the frames at the top of the screen to add another one.
The Jamboard app even has an embedded web browser accessible when jotting notes.
Jams can be used as an artistic tool. One thing I have noticed as I play with the Jamboard app – Jams are messy! That is a good thing, but it makes me pause about assessing something made in the Jamboard app as a final product. The Jamboard app is probably better used as an ungraded collaborative tool. Not grading Jams might increase student engagement and focus on learning when using them. Having said that, students using the Jamboard App can produce some beautiful art. Witness my masterpiece, Sunset at the Beach:
On a more serious note, just like Google Slides can render individual slides as images and whole slide decks as PDFs, the Jamboard app allows frames to be shared as images and whole Jams to be shared as PDFs. Just click the three dots in the upper right corner of the Jam:
I hope this post has convinced you to install the Jamboard app (links in the first paragraph of this post) and give it a try. If you would like to share your ideas about the Google Jamboard app, please comment below or tweet me at @TomEMullaney. Thank you for reading.
Google Keep is the cat’s pajamas. It is great for brainstorming, to-do lists, collaboration, and feedback. Watch as I demonstrate the Google Keep Android app which comes with slightly more functionality than the web app.
Ability to add voice recordings using the device’s mic.
Why spend precious memory installing the YouTube app? The answer is simple – 360° video! Convertible Chromebooks act like windows into another world when viewing a 360° video in the YouTube Android app. Watch as I demonstrate:
Usually, when I suggest a tool on this blog, I wholeheartedly endorse it. That is not the case with Science Journal. It’s worth sharing because it has great capability for capturing and organizing Science lab data. It debuted in Spring 2016 and it seems like Google has not been interested in it since. (Update: Google has recently published new Science Journal content. Yay!) Still, Science teachers should check out the Science Journal activities Google published in Spring 2016.
Great tool for collecting and organizing Science lab experiment data.
But what if Chromebooks incorporated Android apps in a way that did not compromise the OS while giving teachers and learners the best of all worlds – mobile apps, keyboards, and touchscreens?
I recently purchased the ASUS Flip C302 which has Play Store access. My wariness of Android on Chrome OS was mistaken. The Flip C302 is a dream. Everything works great, including Android apps.
Long term, I hope companies make convertible flip touchscreen Chromebooks with a world-facing camera above the keyboard. This gives the device full tablet functionality. ASUS has done this with its C213. Time will tell if these Chromebooks are iPad killers. In the meantime, here are five educational Android apps to consider using with your students.