Using Jamboard for Timeline Activities

Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 7.43.17 AM

For the past year, we have been exploring different ways that we can thoughtfully implement Jamboard into lessons. To learn more about previous activities, click HERE and HERE. Our next thoughtful implementation you ask? How about creating a collaborative timeline?

Timeline Past History

Mrs. Devito and Mr. Woodhead teach a Freshmen Humanities course. During the Scientific Revolution unit, the teachers ask students to do some research on a scientist in pairs. Their goal is for students to visually see how one scientist has impacted another throughout the time period.

Two years ago, they had students try out Knightlab Timeline feature – for those who are not familiar with this tool, you are able to get a copy of a Google Sheet that has scripting already embedded with it. You add in information such as date, info and images. Once the finalized spreadsheet is completed, you can embed the Google Sheet file on a Google Site to see a visual representation of the timeline. The teachers appreciated the collaborative approach, however they felt like tech got into the way of learning and were not completely satisfied with the end result. (This does not mean that Knightlab is a terrible tool. For this instance, they felt like it did not make sense.)

Last year, Mrs. Devito and Mr. Woodhead decided to have students create a class timeline using the bulletin board in the classroom. It was visual for sure, however the big downside to this approach was lack of access unless the student was right in front of the board. All content was in black and white.

Timeline – Jamboard

IMG_0897 2This year, we decided to use Jamboard. We used the gray box background with the timeline bar in the middle of the page. Each page consisted of a 25 year period. Once created, we made a copy of that file so that we had a template to access in future years. The class received access to the Jamboard file, using Google classroom with the feature “students can edit file”.

In class, students were introduced to how Jamboard worked. Seeing as though there were 20 scientists, it was determined that eight stickies were required for each scientist on the timeline. Students had access to Jamboard from their Chromebook as well as the kiosks. Students mostly created stickies and inserted images from their device. Students used their ‘Jamboard Kiosk time’ to make their content ‘look good’ as well as add visuals with the help of Google AutoDraw feature. (For those students with touch screen Chromebooks, they didn’t necessarily need ‘Jamboard Kiosk time’.)


For me, I love the fact that I am able to get a quick idea of what content is included in the timeline without reading stickies from the images. I also appreciate the fact that everyone has access to the content from their device. When students are asked to summarize their findings from the full class timeline, they are able to refer back to the timeline as many times as they need to.

IMG_0902While working on this timeline project, we realized that maybe we should have broken up the years a bit smaller to 10 or 15 years a page instead of 25. However, we quickly realized that you are only allowed 20 pages in one Jamboard file. Something good to know if you decided to do a timeline activity with your students.

A wish that we have is the ability to use more than 5 colors. Ideally for this project, it would have been good if each scientist had its own sticky color to truly help showcase what each person contributed to the Scientific Revolution.

With that said though, I think the lesson went well and look forward to tweaking it next year. It was certainly an efficient way of getting over 40 students in a class to collaboratively share information with one another. If you have any questions on how you can model a similar lesson with your students or how you can use Jamboard in general, you know where to find me.

And that is my Spiel…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: