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What’s the best Google Jamboard alternative?

Dr. Edwige Simon, serves as the Director of Online Learning and Instructional Technology at the International Center for Language Studies, located in Washington DC. ICLS specializes in providing intensive language training to government agencies, NGOs, non-profits, and individual learners in 85 languages since 1966.

Jamboard, a digital whiteboard tool developed by Google is a popular teacher tool due to its simplicity and user-friendly interface. It facilitates collaborative and engaging classroom experiences, allowing students to collectively contribute ideas and visuals in real-time on a digital whiteboard. Its seamless integration with other Google tools and availability as a mobile app further enhance its accessibility and usability.

Overall, Jamboard has played an important role in bringing a dynamic and interactive element to classrooms, fostering engagement and enhancing learning experiences for students. However, despite its merits, Google's decision to discontinue Jamboard has left teachers with the challenging task of identifying alternative tools to meet their needs.

An unpopular decision 

The decision to shut down Jamboard took the teacher community by surprise. Many disgruntled educators took to social platforms to voice their concerns and frustration: 
I have made HUNDREDS of Jamboards to go with my lessons. Sure, I can import them all into slides or some other interactive whiteboard, but it is so not the same. Also, who has time to do anything like that?? I’m so mad about this.” (Reddit Thread)    

Decisions like this further complicate the task of persuading teachers to adopt technology.  As another teacher explained: 
This is why I'm so skeptical of all the pushes to use more tech in schools. Every time something is outdated you've got to learn a new app and import everything to start anew”. (Reddit Thread) 

Some teachers have even taken the matter into their own hands and multiple petitions to bring Jamboards back are currently circulating on the web. Unfortunately, Google is highly unlikely to reverse its decision.  


Why is Google Shutting down Jamboard? 

Although Google hasn't explicitly detailed their reasons, several factors may have contributed to this decision: 

  • Competition: Tools like Figma and Miro offer advanced features such as an infinite canvas and various templates. 
  • Shifting Focus: Google may be prioritizing its core products like Docs, Sheets, and Slides. 
  • User Metrics: It's possible that Jamboard did not meet Google’s expectations for user engagement or adoption. 

Google is trying to mitigate the side effects of this decision by letting existing Jams be imported into FigJam, Lucidspark, and Miro but the process will be excruciating for teachers who developed an extensive collection of Jamboards, not to mention that the tools listed above have different functionalities that might render activities designed for Jamboards useless in other applications.  

But regardless of how teachers feel about Google’s decision, Jamboard will get shut down by December 2024 and if you have not yet started your migration process, now is the time to study the options.  

Let's explore some of the alternatives available for educators. 


Google Recommended Jamboard alternatives 

The first three contenders are FigJam, Lucidspark, and Miro. These tools are directly recommended by Google and as mentioned above, they offer a migration process to make it easier for teachers to import their materials.  


FigJam by Figma 

Teachers can utilize Figjam for free, provided they go through the verification process. Make sure to use the Figma for educators' registration page when you sign up. 

FigJam’s free plan for educators includes all features of the Professional plan at no cost, including unlimited files and projects, and shareable libraries. 

Figjams provide a digital whiteboard for interactive lessons and brainstorming, tools for real-time collaboration and a template library tailored for educational content alongside tools like sticky notes and shapes and more. Figjam comes with more features than Jamboard, which inevitably makes for a slightly steeper learning curve. FigJam by Figma 

Figjam offers an infinite canvas unlike Jamboard that is slide-based. You could recreate the Jamboard slide-based experience by creating a series of sections which would work like slides on the canvas. And you also have the option to hide various sections and unveil them to students when you need them (See above). You can share a Figjam with students, but they will need to create an account to edit them.  

If you are interested in testing Figjam, make sure to check out the FigJam K12 educator training template. It’s a series of slides that guide you through the main features of Jamboard and introduces some of the templates available. And check out Tom Mullaney’s Youtube channel. He is a Figma partner and has many videos on how to use Figjam on his channel, such as this video showing you how to export your Jamboards to Figjam. 

Lucid offers a complimentary account for K12 and higher education teachers, provided you sign up with an edu email address. The free account boasts unlimited document creation and sharing capabilities. 

While Lucid is a robust business application, its complexity may pose challenges for younger students, and it lacks integration with Google Classroom. Upon closer examination, it functions more as a smart diagramming tool, enabling the creation of various flow charts, albeit some templates, such as dot voting templates, bear resemblance to Jamboard.

Students can be invited to collaborate on Lucid documents, but they'll need to create an account to do so. Overall, it's somewhat clunky and geared more towards business use. Nonetheless, if you're inclined to give it a try, there's a helpful video available demonstrating how to transfer your Jamboards over to Lucid jam. 



Miro extends a complimentary a free education tier pricing plan  for teachers, featuring unlimited active boards, unrestricted external board viewers and commenters, as well as unlimited visitors via a public link, all while maintaining privacy for private boards. 

You have the option to create teams for efficient content organization by class. Although the template selection primarily caters to business professionals rather than students, there's a noteworthy collection of icebreaker templates that can serve as valuable inspiration (which can easily be replicated on alternative platforms if Miro isn't your preferred choice). 


It's important to note that students will need to create an account to collaborate on Miro boards. While Miro excels in facilitating collaborative projects, its template and interface seem more aligned with business applications rather than catering directly to K12 or higher education teachers and students. Nevertheless, if you're intrigued and wish to explore, there's a helpful video available demonstrating how to transition your jamboards over to Miro. 


Other digital whiteboard options 

While not featured on Google's list of recommended digital whiteboards, extends a free license to both teachers and students, encompassing most premium features. Teachers have the ability to invite students via a class code, eliminating the need for student account creation. With the capacity to create up to 10 boards, although with a one-week expiration, the lifespan of boards can be extended as needed. The interface is streamlined, offering a standard set of features including an infinite canvas, text tool, pen, eraser, and uploads. Furthermore, it seamlessly integrates with Google Classroom and Teams. Given its offerings, this tool certainly warrants exploration! 



The final whiteboard tool we'll introduce is Kami. The company provides a complimentary teacher license encompassing 20 boards, access to approximately half of the platform's features, and a vast array of templates, along with unrestricted collaboration capabilities (for students). The extensive template selection appears tailored towards younger students. 

For $99 annually, users gain access to all features, an unlimited number of boards and collaborators, and seamless integration with major Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, and Canvas. While reasonably priced, there are plenty of other free options available to educators. If you're interested, you can explore this YouTube introduction to the platform for further insight. 



These digital whiteboard options offer a wide range of interesting features, yet they often sacrifice simplicity and user-friendliness. While transitioning to Google Slides—a comparable alternative—may seem like an option, we highly encourage you to invest some time exploring the options outlined in this article and seek recommendations from your professional network. With numerous digital whiteboards available, there's a chance you'll discover one that perfectly aligns with your teaching requirements. Although the task may seem daunting and time-consuming, it presents an exciting opportunity to uncover a new tool that could energize your teaching approach and inspire your students. For instance, Figma offers the ability to summarize Figjam content, while boasts an intriguing AI redrawing feature, particularly useful for teachers with limited drawing skills. Let us know the tool you ended up adopting in the comment section!  

Learn more about using teacher tools online (including ChatGPT for language teachers) at our Teacher PD tech workshops.

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