Jeno Rivera

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources; Director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Scholars Program

Jamming together: Educational technologies to enhance collaborative learning

The Bailey Scholars Program is home to the university-wide minor in Leadership in Integrated Learning. The Program has two physical spaces shared with the MSU community for classes, meetings, and events. We are proposing the need for collaborative technologies (Google Jamboards) to enhance learning across both spaces.

Project Solution:

At its core, the Bailey Scholars Program (BSP) is a program where each student, graduate and faculty fellow design their own learning journey and engage in a collaborative learning community. The collaborative learning process challenges traditional educational practices where the instructor takes control of the teaching and learning goals of a classroom and students typically assume a more passive and receptive role. Through collaborative learning, the traditional classroom dynamics are shifted and both instructors and students play an equal role in developing the educational programming of the classroom. This proposed project seeks to acquire two Google Jamboard, which are interactive digital whiteboards that will be used by the Bailey Scholars Program and MSU community to support the collaborative learning that empowers students to take ownership of their learning experience

By engaging with the Google Jamboard, BSP students will have the technological resources to enhance brainstorming and group learning dynamics. The Google Jamboard allows for real-time co-authoring across devices; that is multiple people can contribute to a classroom discussion by opening up the Jamboard app on their electronic devices and post written responses, notes, and images to the Jamboard in real-time. This allows for increased connectivity and fosters an inclusive classroom environment where everyone’s ideas are heard, encourages students to take the lead in classroom learning, and increases productivity. With the G-Suite Integration feature, students will be able to pull content from Google Drive and other sources, resulting in easier file sharing and educational collaboration.

The Bailey Scholars Program prides itself on being a diverse, inclusive, and accessible program for everyone that is involved. However, our limited technology results in loose cords and wires spread across the ground, where accessibility becomes an issue due to people unable to move freely. Google Jamboard is an excellent solution for minimizing the number of cords on the ground, due to the device being completely electronic and mobile. This allows for easy transportation of the Jamboard, and for it to be used in a variety of different locations. Since the Jamboard is integrated with G-Suite technology, faculty, staff, and students can use it wherever they are through their Google Drive account. Certain situations arise that prevent students from attending class or a meeting whether it be to illness, injury, or any other matter. The Google Jamboard, however, can be used remotely to ensure access to all students/faculty regardless of their physical location. Learning for many students happens outside of the classroom, just as much as it does inside. Some students feel more comfortable with informal learning styles, and with the Google Jamboard, the Bailey Scholars Program can accommodate multiple learning styles and easily collaborate. This technology is completely free as long as students have access to a mobile device or computer, making it accessible to all students without any additional cost. Creating inclusive environments within the Bailey Scholars Program is part of our core beliefs, and with the Google Jamboard, this will become more of a reality.

Using Google Jamboards will help increase the adaptability of a classroom environment. For instance, it will increase student interactions by allowing multiple students to work collaboratively on the same screen from their own devices. Students are able to create one file that they can edit and provide feedback on simultaneously and have those changes appear on the Jamboard screen. This creates an inclusive student-led classroom and allows students to openly express their ideas. Students and faculty can work together in the same room, across campus, or across the world ensuring connectivity at all times. This allows all members to voice their opinions and provide their input in classroom discussions, even if they are unable to make it to class. This technology encourages collaborative brainstorming. The Jamboards are compatible with each other, making it easy to create a learning environment outside of the traditional classroom. For example, the Jamboards are easily transportable and create the opportunity to physically wheel the classroom across the building or an alternative learning environment. An added bonus is that the Jamboard automatically updates, therefore, the technology will not become out of date, as this is a common problem with our current technology.

Learn more about Jeno Rivera (https://www.canr.msu.edu/people/jeno-rivera)