At the beginning of 2016 my colleague Nathan and I had a sneak peak of the brand new Google Jamboard at the BETT show, it was so secretive that we were ushered into a secret room on the stand itself where only one person was allowed to present to a maximum of three people and we had to sign an NDA before we could be wowed by the awesomeness that the Jamboard evoked.
In return for our silence we were greeted with a beautiful 55-inch whiteboard style 4k display with very striking red and white colour scheme surrounding. It wasn't cluttered by wires save the single cable, and the tools consisted of a stylus and an eraser that were both passive and didn't need 50 more batteries than my sons toys will this Christmas. It was clean, it was vibrant, but did it actually function as well as it looked?
Short answer...Yes, Using the actual hardware was intuitive and very easy, making something bigger was a simple pinch out gesture, the pencil was natural to use and next to no lag meaning even my infantile drawings looked half competent. Perhaps one of the most impressive parts included in the Jamboard experience is its machine learning aspect, there is nothing more satisfying than drawing a wonky looking circle on the board and watching it turn it into a perfect circle for you.
So do you HAVE to buy a Jamboard to enjoy what the Jamboard service has to offer?
Short answer No...Google has continued with Jamboard their phenomenal ability to create simple, easy to use solutions that just work, and have them collaborate with the core apps which we all know and love in G Suite such as Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. Add to this the fact that you can use the Jamboard app on a phone, tablet, Chrome device running android, or the web means the ability to bring in multiple students both in and outside the classroom is as simple as pushing the app out through your G Suite admin console.
Google are in the next few weeks making the Jamboard service a core G Suite service for G Suite domains, if you haven't yet tried the Jamboard service out yet it's definitely worth exploring for yourself Jamboard Help Centre