February 26, 2021

Indika Rajapakse: Using Jamboard to Create Engaging Learning

As higher education institutions extend their remote learning programs and limit in-person classes due to COVID-19, Google Jamboard creates an online education experience that resembles in-person collaboration and information exchange. Indika Rajapakse, Ph.D., associate professor of computational medicine and bioinformatics, mathematics, and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan, chose Jamboard because it’s integrated with the Google for Education and Google Meet applications right out of the box. Its built-in wide-angle HD camera, microphone, and speakers eliminate the complexity of having to operate separate devices to launch video conferences and annotate.

“Learning comes from writing, not memorizing slides, which is why you need to be able to engage students while you’re teaching,” said Rajapakse. “That happens when they see you work through problems, or even see where mistakes are commonly made. With Jamboard, I’m able to interact in that way just as if I were in class. I didn’t have to think about or learn Jamboard’s features because I already use them. In fact, I teach about Google network, how the search engine works, and Google’s PageRank algorithm.”

Rajapakse’s students are able to watch the entire process in real time. What’s more, he can invite students to work on screen within Meet, the Jamboard app, Chrome browser, or from another Jamboard. After class, he shares the session with students to review and study via Google Workspace cloud sharing capabilities, going beyond the chalkboard experience that is highly coveted in higher-education mathematics departments.