Have you heard the news? Google is waiving bye bye to Jamboard. You essentially have a year to convert your Jamboard Jam files before they become uneditable PDF’s. The reason we loved Google Jamboard was because of the interactivity!! So what do we do now?
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The Announcement - Bye Bye Jamboard
In late 2023 Google announced they will be discontinuing Jamboard. Initially Jams will be switched to view only. After outcry, Google changed their position from deleting the Jam files from your Google Drive to changing them to PDF’s.
Why Did Google Ditch Jamboard?
I can only speculate. I have no insider information on why Google discontinued Jamboard. The writing has been on the wall, you could not add Jams to Google Classroom using the add from Drive option. Jams are not an option in the filter drop down for file type.
Jamboard Lacked Features
Can we be honest! What was cool about Jamboard is it was so simple. However, it clearly lacked some features that were needed. 20 frame limit and inability to lasso multiple items was definitely a frustration. A complete guess of mine is that the time, money, and effort to overhaul Jamboard didn’t pencil out in comparison with the number of users.
What Happens to Your Book Alice?
One must always be ready to MOVE ON. Nothing stays the same. While I am so passionate about collaborative whiteboarding that I wrote an entire book about it, Jamboard isn’t the only way to accomplish this. So the book is dead. I’ll write another one. Bye bye Jamboard.
Sure you can use digital whiteboards like Jamboard as a digital piece of paper, but that doesn’t improve learning. Same is same.
With any tool, consider the pedagogy first. Not, what can I do with the tool?
Jamboard allowed multiple people to share ideas, to brainstorm, sketch out their thoughts, in one place. We could break the barriers of being physically side by side with another person. Students can collaborate and work through difficult ideas with students in other class periods or really anywhere in the world. It breaks us from such linear thinking like a Google Doc and encourages us to be more creative. Making it easier to move our ideas around and group them to find patterns and consensus.
Filter Your Google Drive for Jams
If you have made Google Jamboard Jams in the past, you will want to find them in Google Drive. Search for type:jam
Convert Your Jams
Currently Google does not have a native way for you to convert your Jams to another product. When your files are changed to PDF’s they will be located in Google Drive. If you want to maintain interactivity, you will need to use a 3rd party and those imports will live on their platform.
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