Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

5 Reasons FigJam is Your New Jam

Enhance classroom engagement with FigJam! Seamlessly integrate multimedia, organize lessons, and foster collaboration all in one versatile tool. Make FigJam your new jam for dynamic teaching.
5 reasons FigJam is your new jam
5 Reasons FigJam is Your New Jam

FigJam is a versatile digital whiteboard and collaboration tool from Figma, designed to make brainstorming, planning, and teaching more interactive and engaging. It provides a shared online space where students and teachers can work together in real-time, adding notes, drawing diagrams, and integrating multimedia elements. Here are five reasons why FigJam is your new jam for enhancing classroom engagement and fostering a student-centered learning environment.

One Tool to Manage Them All

Integrating technology into a lesson can be tricky for many reasons. One is that a lesson can be complex with multiple elements happening in the same class hour. How do you balance the different parts of the lesson, some being digital and some not with smooth transitions?

FigJam is your lesson design center.

Design Each Lesson in a FigJam

One of the keys to teaching with technology is to limit the number of tools you’re trying to learn and use. It is better to feel comfortable with a small handful. As you gain expertise in a tool, consider adding another one to your toolbox. The tools do not make the learning, but rather the careful pedagogy considerations that go into the lesson plan. 

Be consistent by starting each lesson with a FigJam.

Easy to Get Started

FigJam is free for educators from Figma. 

Create a FigJam

It is quick and easy to start a lesson using FigJam. Simply go to figjam.new. 

Find Your FigJam's

Figma keeps your FigJam files organized. Go to figma.com to locate all of your lessons.

Click the share button to start an open session

1. FigJam is Your New Jam for Active Collaboration

FigJam is designed with collaboration at its core. It allows students and teachers to work together in real-time, sharing ideas, brainstorming, and solving problems collectively. Have students jump in and start contributing, promoting a more interactive and engaging classroom experience. With FigJam, every student’s voice can be heard, encouraging participation and fostering a sense of community.

Try a Template

Figma has many free FigJam templates to help you get started with collaboration activities. 

2. FigJam is Your New Jam for Visual Learning

Visual learning is a powerful way to engage students, and FigJam excels in this area. The tool offers a wide range of visual elements, such as sticky notes, diagrams, and flowcharts, that help students organize and visualize their thoughts. This visual approach aligns perfectly with the 4 C’s of education—critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity—by making abstract concepts more tangible and easier to understand.

Simple Toolbar

The toolbar at the bottom of the FigJam whiteboard makes it easy to draw, add sticky notes, or create diagrams.

Try the JigSaw Learning Activity Template

The jigsaw learning activity is a cooperative learning strategy that encourages students to work together to become experts on specific topics and then share their knowledge with their peers.

This template can be used for a small group or whole group activity.

3. FigJam Enhances Critical Thinking

At Teacher Tech, we emphasize the importance of Depth of Knowledge (DOK) to cultivate critical thinking skills across all subjects. FigJam’s flexible canvas allows for activities that span all four DOK levels, enhancing students’ cognitive engagement. Here are specific ways FigJam can enhance critical thinking:

DOK Level 1: Recall and Reproduction:

FigJam can be used for basic tasks such as recalling facts and simple procedures. For instance, students can use sticky notes to list key terms or sequence steps in a process, aiding in the retention of foundational knowledge.

DOK Level 2: Skills and Concepts:

FigJam supports activities that involve comparing, organizing, and summarizing information. Students can create flowcharts or mind maps to compare concepts, organize their thoughts, and summarize content, helping them make connections and understand relationships.

DOK Level 3: Strategic Thinking:

FigJam excels at fostering strategic thinking through problem-solving and decision-making activities. Students can engage in collaborative problem-solving sessions, where they hypothesize solutions, analyze data, and debate different approaches, thus honing their analytical and reasoning skills.

DOK Level 4: Extended Thinking:

FigJam’s open-ended canvas is perfect for complex tasks that require extended thinking. Students can embark on long-term projects, conduct in-depth research, and create detailed presentations. They can iterate on their ideas, receive peer feedback, and refine their work over time, mirroring real-world scenarios and enhancing their critical thinking abilities.

4. Facilitates Student-Centered Learning

FigJam empowers students to take control of their learning. The platform’s user-friendly features enable students to create their own learning paths, work at their own pace, and collaborate with peers without being micromanaged. This approach aligns with the 5 E’s lesson plan model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) by giving students the autonomy to explore topics deeply and engage with content meaningfully.

5. FigJam Integrates with Existing Tools

Simply paste!

No matter the tools you use, you can integrate into a seamless lesson with FigJam. Create a section for each element of the lesson. Paste the link to the resource, be it Google Docs, Quizizz, or anything else you use. 

This allows you to control the flow of the lesson. Provide directions for what do to with the resource. Consider adding reflection space within the FigJam for the students after the interaction with the other tool. 

If you paste a link to a Google Doc or Google Slides you or the students can interact with it within FigJam without leaving the canvas.

/duplicate

While I love the collaboration features of FigJam there are many good reasons to give students their own individual copies. Modify the link to the FigJam by appending /duplicate to the end. Locate the ? question mark after the file title and remove the question mark and everything to the right to make way for the /duplicate.

FigJam Link:

https://www.figma.com/board/pooRXkF8uXamSNYlEzUW5O/PacMan%E2%84%A2-Knowledge-Quest?node-id=0-1&t=h6GjKczKA4sGBHjc-1

/duplicate Forces a Copy

https://www.figma.com/board/pooRXkF8uXamSNYlEzUW5O/PacMan%E2%84%A2-Knowledge-Quest/duplicate

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.