Remote/Digital Learning · UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Jamboards for Brainstorming

My colleague and thought partner, Jack Czajkowski, set my brain spinning when he shared a Jamboard with me a few months ago.. He had written a Jamboard for students to begin brainstorming their ideas to a series of prompts, all designed to introduce students to the engineering design process. I’m not any kind of science expert to be able to comment on the quality of the students’ responses, but I loved clicking through the Jamboard and just soaking in the magic, which feels to me to be a truly Jamboard-only experience. There is something about the particular format and possibilities inherent in using Jamboards that just lends itself to some very powerful student experiences!

I loved the way students were interacting directly with each other on the Jamboard, namely examples such as “I agree with logan – drones.” The instructions had not included “respond to” or “critique a classmate’s ideas,” but the students had clearly read the ideas of a peer and felt an interest in responding. In many ways, this casual exchange on sticky notes includes some of the aspects of group work that we attempt to isolate and demand – precision of response (i.e., not “I like his idea”), credit given (students named and acknowledged), and engagement with ideas.

I laughed when I read the comment “Bruh I ain’t got chip, I’m using GOLDFISH.” While this response clearly reflects the comfort that Jack’s students feel in his classroom, I also loved the authenticity of this response. The student’s response shows me that he or she is engaged with the science “content” of the lesson, while also bringing his/her own approach to the work.

In this class, I was struck by the combination of text boxes and sticky notes in the responses. Clearly, students were interested in sharing their ideas, doing so in whatever way each felt comfortable. The credit goes to Jack for building a classroom environment where the content is valued over “coloring within the lines” of an assignment.

Again, in this image, I was struck by the variety of responses – the colors, the adjusted sizes, the sticky notes and text boxes. I see both student engagement and ownership of the content.

Thanks to Jack for sharing the inspiration – I appreciate it!

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