If you are in a district that uses G-Suite for Education, then there is an excellent whiteboard tool available to you and will integrate easily with Google Classroom. Google Jamboard (jamboard.google.com) is a collaborative digital whiteboard. It was initially released with and for use with an interactive whiteboard called oddly enough the Jamboard. The Jamboard software initially was limited to use with the hardware. Within a short time, Google realized that the software could be useful beyond the hardware and released Jamboard as an app. Jamboard is now available for use on the web or as a Google Play or iOS app.
Jamboard allows you to create a board with many separate frames within a single board. Using Jamboard is a way to keep all of the students work on one topic or concept together for you, the teacher, to view easily. Sticky notes, images, and hand-drawn notes can be utilized within Jamboard.
There are many ways that you can use Jamboard with your students. Let’s examine a few of those ways.
Teachers can demonstrate how to work through math problems or other tasks where it would be beneficial for students to see a live example.
Live Note Taking
Each student could be assigned a different frame within a Jamboard to take notes on during a presentation. The teacher could then review the students’ notes as a check for understanding.
Mind Maps or Visual Note Taking
If students have access to touch-screen devices, they could mind map a concept they are studying or create sketchnotes around the topic.
An idea wall is a blank canvas for words, thoughts, ideas, or images to be produced by students around a particular concept or topic. In your classroom, you might do this on a regular whiteboard, but what happens when the board gets erased. By using Jamboard as your Idea Wall, you can save all of that student work for you and them to review at any time.
If you have used a tool like Padlet in the past, then you already have an excellent use for Jamboard. You can pre-create sticky notes on topics for students to fill out as part of a discussion.
If you are not in a G-Suite district, there are alternatives to Jamboard.
AwwApp (awwapp.com) is a web-based alternative. They have a free level that can be used easily. The downside to this app is that there will be advertisements on the screens at all times, however.