Design and Engagement

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on

I left class on Tuesday with many questions about creating an online course. I felt that mine did not look as ‘pretty’ as my classmates courses. I was very thankful to be able to see their courses as it gave me a lot of ideas and clarified questions I had on how to use the platform I am learning about. Some questions I left with were..

  • What is the research around the most effective courses?
  • Does it have to look ‘pretty’ or attractive to be good quality?
  • Is the appeal important?
  • What is the best way to design a course for elementary students?
  • How do you create a balance of instruction and activities?

I decided to research more about designing a course. There were many similarities within the tips for making engaging courses.

Some common themes were:

  • creating opportunity for engagement and peer collaboration.
  • having clear learning goals.
  • having a variety of instruction and activities.

These were all topics we discussed in groups during our class while looking at a variety of online courses.

Overall from what I have read it is about creating good content that is easy to follow and engaging. Design and how ‘pretty’ it looks was not on the top of any lists but it does help to have a course that is easy on the eyes.

This is not what I want this post to be about though. I want to switch gears and take this opportunity to explore a tool I have heard ALOT about but have not had a chance to investigate. It is a tool that allows for interactive engagement in an online or blended classroom. Many educators using Google Classrooms use Google Jamboard as part of their lessons. Now that I have been using Google Classrooms to create my own course, I want to explore what Jamboard is and how to use it. I know many of my classmates have used Jamboard or are currently using it, but for those who haven’t and use Google, I hope I can teach you something valuable.

Google Jamboard is an interactive whiteboard tool for learning within Google Classroom. It promotes peer collaboration and provides an engaging opportunity for all students to see each others responses or work in groups. Students are all able to cooperate on the whiteboard.

For me I learn best from videos and visuals. I went to YouTube to find step-by-step tutorials on how to start using Jamboard.

The following video is very detailed about each feature of Jamboard and is great for beginners like myself. He includes many ideas and types of lessons that can be used on Jamboard.

I also found many great resources on Wakelet about Jamboard.

Jamboard Wakelet Collection

After learning I wanted to try it out for myself but it is difficult without having anyone to interact with. To find out more and see how educators are using this tool I dug a little deeper. I went straight to the source to learn more- teachers using Jamboard everyday. I joined a Facebook group and found many ideas of how teachers are using Jamboard in an online or blended classroom. I actually learn a lot from Facebook groups and appreciate the support felt by educators from all over the world.

I also read teacher blogs/articles. I found the following very supportive.

  1. Jamboard Ideas and Activities for Teachers

2. 20 Free Interactive Jamboard Ideas and Activities For Teachers at Every Grade Level

3. 12 Ways to “Jam” with Your Students using Google Jamboards

4. 10 Jamboard templates for distance learning

This video shares examples of lessons and ideas of how you can use Jamboard for online learning.

I have had fun looking at teachers lessons and watching videos of students working in small groups and large groups. I am looking forward to utilizing this tool in the future. From what I have learned, it is a great way to engage students in learning online. It helps to build community among students and promotes interaction. Many teachers use Jamboards to do check-in with students. It’s a great way to gage how kids are feeling and doing. I’ve been looking more at ways primary teachers use Jamboard. It is a great collaborative tool to engage students in groups work, break out rooms, and peer participation.

The most common ways Jamboard is used in a virtual classroom is:

  • Student check-ins
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Whiteboard instruction
  • Assessment/Measuring student understanding
  • Brainstorming
  • Drawing/Labelling activities
  • Virtual Games
  • Partner/Group Work

I really do not wish to ever have to teach online, but if I do I will be ready to have fun with this delightful tool! My goal this week is to try it out with the iPads in my classroom so if we do have to go online; my students are familiar with it. I hope with my little knowledge and the resources provided you could learn something from this post.

Thank you for reading!

Until next time,


learning from home

Published by christinapatt13

I am a grade 2/3 teacher in Regina, Sask. "The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

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