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Navigating the Post-Jamboard Era





 

🕵🏻‍♂️ Search the Artifact!


Welcome to Digital ATDN’s newsletter, where we elevate learning with digital resilience. Last month, we introduced a new activity called “Search the Artifacts”. We used an AI image generator called DALLE-3 to create a cover image for the newsletter and we asked our readers, and listeners, to identify the artifacts in the image. For this newsletter, we asked DALLE-3 to “generate an image of a teacher leaving Jamboard behind and looking to the horizon of technology tools available throughout the landscape.”


Our question for today is…


How many technology skills or tools can you identify from the generated image?

The link to the full resolution image is available by clicking on the image.



 



🎤 Introduction


Unlocking the full potential of adult education requires tools that not only support but enhance collaborative learning. Jamboard, with its (free) digital, interactive capabilities, emerged in 2017 as a beacon for educators aiming to enrich their teaching with the collective intelligence and varied experiences of their learners. Years later, as the world transitioned to remote learning during the pandemic, Jamboard’s popularity skyrocketed as more and more educators were seeking interactive and collaborative learning solutions. For many of us, Jamboard’s ease of use, interactive features, and integration within the Google Workspace made it one of our most utilized digital learning tools.


Earlier this year, Google announced that Jamboard would be discontinued at the end of 2024. This has left many educators faced with navigating this change and the inevitable impact that it will have on their teaching methodologies and student interaction. However, as educators, we are no strangers to change and embracing new challenges. The end of Jamboard will mark the end of an era, but it also signals the emergence of new options for digital collaboration and innovation in education.  


Here, at Digital ATDN, we have curated a list of alternative tools that promise to fill the void left by Jamboard. We aim to support Connecticut’s adult education community and ensure that the spirit of interactive and engaging digital learning continues to thrive, even as we bid farewell to a familiar digital friend.


Most Similar Jamboard Replacement:


Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard platform that supports real-time collaboration and creativity, allowing users to draw, annotate, and share ideas dynamically across devices. Explain Everything even has the beloved sticky notes and templates that have become synonymous with Jamboard. However, the one downside of Explain Everything is that it is only free for up to 3 projects and only one slide per project. The paid option provides greater interactive options.




Best Solution for Virtual Collaboration:


With all the new products on the market, Google Slides continues to excel as a platform for collaboration, offering unmatched versatility and integration capabilities. As a cornerstone among the original suite of Google Workspace products, its ease of use, familiarity, and integration with Google Workspace solidifies Google Slides as a go-to resource for educators. If you used Jamboard for brainstorming, group projects, or annotations, then Google Slides might be the best solution. Most importantly, Google Slides is still free!




Best Solution for Collaborative Note-Taking:


Google Keep, a lesser-known gem in the vast Google universe, offers an intuitive platform for collaborative note-taking. Google Keep allows users to capture ideas, create checklists, and set reminders on digital “notes''. Notes can also include bulleted lists, images, labels, and colors. Google Keep supports digital collaboration making it an effective tool for managing classroom projects and brainstorming sessions. Additionally, its simplicity, mobile-friendly interface, and direct integration with Google Workspace make it an unexpectedly fitting replacement for Jamboard. Like all other Google Workspace products, Google Keep is free.




Best Solution for Real-Time Collaborative Brainstorming:


Similar to Jamboard, tools like Slido and Mentimeter facilitate interactive engagement by allowing participants to contribute answers in real-time during a class or presentation via phone, tablet, or computer. Both Slideo and Mentimeter (Menti) create a collaborative learning or working environment through the use of polls and questions. Participants can view contributions through word clouds, charts, and graphs, much like Jamboard enables the visual collaboration of ideas with drawings and annotations. Further, Slido and Mentimeter offer a range of free and premium options, but most educators will find that the free option is adequate for classroom use.




Best Solution for Diagrams & Creative Collaboration:


Canva is known for its user-friendly graphic design platform that has recently taken the education world by storm with its free, premium options for K-12 and non-profit institutions. Like Jamboard, Canva enables users to collaborate creatively in real-time, allowing teams to design, edit, and comment on projects together. Canva also has a collaborative whiteboard option that offers many similarities to Jamboard. However, one striking difference between the two products is that the Canva whiteboard is infinite in size. While this may offer vast creative space and flexibility, some users may find the limitless whiteboard size to pose challenges in terms of navigation and organization.




Best for Solution for Teaching Vocabulary:


If Jamboard was your go-to solution for teaching vocabulary, then Educaplay should be on your list of potential replacements. Educaplay offers various game formats that can be customized to review vocabulary, including quizzes, crosswords, and word searches. Like Jamboard, Educaplay can be used to facilitate collaborative learning opportunities through interactive games that can be played in groups or individually, which encourages students to engage with the material and each other. Currently, Educaplay offers a generous free account option with no limit on the number of games that can be created, and up to 5 games shared with an LMS (i.e. Google Classroom).


Video Tutorial:  How to Create Your Own Quiz



Best for Solution for Document Annotation:


Jamboard and Google Docs share similarities in their capacity to annotate text, albeit through slightly different functionalities that cater to collaborative and interactive learning and working environments. In Google Docs, users can insert comments and suggestions on specific text segments, allowing for direct feedback and collaborative editing of documents. Given that Google Docs has been widely adopted and utilized by educators and students alike, there's a high likelihood that most users are already quite comfortable with its interface and functionalities.



📑 Conclusion


Through this exploration into the world of digital collaborative tools, it's clear that while Jamboard may be exiting the classroom, the spirit of innovation and collaboration it fostered within educational environments continues to thrive. The good news is that there are several robust solutions available, each capable of stepping in to support the ways teachers and students have used Jamboard in the past. From enhancing interactive learning to facilitating real-time collaboration, these alternatives ensure that the transition from Jamboard can be as smooth as it is promising. The key is to find the right fit based on your specific educational needs and how you've integrated Jamboard into your teaching or learning process.

In closing, let's raise our digital pens one last time in salute…. To Jamboard: thank you for the memories, the lessons, and the gentle reminder that in education, as in life, the only constant is change.


🧑‍💻 Tech Implementation and Support


Digital ATDN offers free Tech Implementation and Support Sessions to adult education staff in Connecticut. Schedule a session here or select Tech Support and Implementation in the Need Assistance section on the Digital ATDN homepage at www.digital.atdnct.org.


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