Every now and then there’s an ICT tool that catches my attention. Unfortunately, the more years I spend teaching, the less frequently I like a tool a lot. Maybe it’s true when they say that you can’t teach an ‘old’ dog new tricks. Or maybe because, with more experience, there is a greater need for actually useful tools with real pedagogical value. In any case, Google Jamboard caught my attention and here is a list of my 5 most favourite activities I’ve been using with my students!
What is Google Jamboard, you ask. In a nutshell, it is a whiteboard that focuses on collaboration. The participants can interact by writing on sticky notes or on standard text boxes. Another feature that I really enjoyed using is the laser to point on the board. Unlike, the one in Zoom this one looks more well-implemented. Regarding the number of participants, as far as I know, you can have as many people on screen as you want, until it crashes 😀 (that happened once and it wasn’t pleasant)
Word to definition
It’s one of my favourite ways to get the students to figure out challenging vocabulary after they’ve read a text or listened to a conversation! Here, I’ve made a classroom background with two boards, one with the words and another one with the definitions. Your students can work together to figure out the pairs. After everyone has finished, you can match the words to the definitions with the help of your students! Simple 🙂
This is a great activity to get your students practising function language such as agreeing, disagreeing, introducing opinion etc. Give your students a list. It could be anything; for instance, a list of five different recipes. Your students need to discuss all the recipes and explain why they like them. In the end, they need to decide on the order from their most to their least favourite! Below there’s an example from a lesson plan I created based on a famous video game, Civilization 6.
Find any picture on the web and just click on the image with the little plus ‘+’ icon (picture below) to enter it as your own background!
For instance a picture of a house like the one below. If your students already know the vocabulary and you’re reviewing it, ask your students to place sticky notes next to each object with its name. If you are introducing new vocabulary use it to elicit the already known and new vocabulary. Again place a sticky note next to each object and tell your students to take a screenshot or just keep the link so that they can go back and study the room! Just remember to use royalty-free pictures!
Scott Thornbury suggests that brainstorming topic-related vocabulary before writing, reading and listening tasks can increase their performance in the tasks that will follow (Beyond the sentence). Put your students into two teams and give them a different colour note. They have 1-2 minutes to place sticky notes with vocabulary connected to the given topic. Jamboard can become the place where all the student-generated vocabulary can be kept and explained for future reference. By this I mean during the reading, listening and writing tasks! Here’s an example board of my students brainstorming vocabulary related to personality.
- Link to the Jamboard
A jumbled picture story from Rachel Tsateri
In a nutshell, I’ve enjoyed using Jamboard for the simple reason that it has made some activities more visual and thus more easy to follow. For example, the visuals gave a structure to the ranking activity and so the students have been able to focus more easily on the task at hand.
That’s all for now! Do you think Jamboard can make our busy teaching lives a bit easier? Have you used it before, and if yes how? Let me know below! 😀
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