Google Jamboard is a new tool that you may not have heard about. You are teaching your students to use it this year. It’s amazing, and you should try it! If you’re not already using Google Jamboard, you will soon be able to add a custom background. You want to find out how? Then keep reading!
It’s easy to add a custom background for your Google Jamboard frame. Just click on “Set Background” in the app. Select the image option and then choose your file. You have the option to upload an image (use 1920x1080px for the best results), or take a photo using your webcam.
Google Jamboard Logo
This post is not about the Google Jamboard device, but the app that powers it. Google Jamboard is available both as a mobile app (iOS, Android versions) and via the internet. You can only add a background to the web version of Google Jamboard. This will hopefully be made available for mobile users soon. Google Jamboard, the ultimate collaborative whiteboard for classrooms, now has the ability to create a custom background.
How to create a custom background for Google Jamboard
There are so many options! We’ll be diving into each one to help you make Google Jamboard a success in your classroom. You can see our video tutorial on how to customize your background in Google Jamboard. If you enjoyed it, please like it and continue reading for additional details.
Google Jamboard: How to Get Started
You might be better to start at the beginning. Jamboard isn’t something you’ve used before. This will vary depending on whether you’re accessing Google Jamboard from a computer or via a mobile phone.
Accessing the Web Version Google Jamboard
Google Jamboard can be accessed via the internet by visiting the URL: jamboard.google.com You can also use jam.new to create a new Jamboard if you’re not like us. This is a great shortcut from Google. Give it a go!
After you have logged in to the app, you can open a new Jam by clicking the big orange plus sign located in the lower right corner of the screen.
You can start a new Jam by clicking the orange plus sign on jamboard.google.com
Google Jamboard iOS or Android Versions
The app can be downloaded from either the Apple or Google Play stores, depending on which operating system you are using. To create a new Jam, simply open the app and click on the plus symbol.
Here’s a disclaimer: the mobile app cannot have a customized background. From now on, we will only be focusing on the web version.
Google Jamboard: A deeper dive into the Custom Background
Okay, let’s get into the custom background setting of Google Jamboard. There are so many options here that it is worth taking a look at each one to find out what they can accomplish.
Once you have your new Jam open you will need to click the “Set Background” option to access all the options.
To get started, click “set background”
There are many background options here, including blue line, blue graph and gray graph. The best part about this post is its final option, IMAGE! The final option, IMAGE!
Google Jamboard background options
You will be presented with an additional menu that allows you to choose from many different options when you click on “image”. There are many options.
- Upload an image
- Your webcam can take a picture
- Google Image search allows you to find an image.
- Upload an image from Google Drive
- Google Photos allows you import images
Google Jamboard allows you to choose a custom background picture
You can create a custom background for any frame of your Jam using any of these options. This is a great feature that allows you to be creative when putting together your resources. However, you can only create 20 frames per Jam.
Let’s have a closer look at five options to choose your custom background on Google Jamboard.
Google Jamboard – Upload an Image
This first option allows you to add an image file from your computer by browsing or dragging it into the window.
You can currently upload only.JPG /.JPEG,.BMP..PNG,.TIF or.GIF file types. It’s important to mention that.SVG or.PDF files aren’t currently supported. Google Slides also supports these file types.
We have tested larger file sizes and found that images can be over 50 MB for backgrounds.
For your background image, 16:9 is the best aspect ratio. This means that it should be 1920 x 1080 pixels. Our one pro tip is to use Google Slides to create backgrounds. You can download the file in.JPG and.PNG formats, then you can use this file to set your background for your Jam.
Jamboard can use your personal background image to replace the default background
Although I don’t know if you have noticed this, you can use a.GIF to save your background. You can think of these applications as education. There are many options. You can find simple countdown animations or random number generator gifs. You could also create science experiment GIFs, which you can insert into your Jamboard to help students express their thinking. We find that the greatest feature of this app is its ability to add GIFs.
Check out our new post to learn how to create custom backgrounds on Google Jamboard with Canva. Canva is an amazing graphic design tool that allows you to be very creative!
Canva can be used to design amazing backgrounds for Google Jamboard
Canva allows you create stunning backgrounds for Google Jamboard
Google Jamboard – Create a custom background using your webcam
You can also create a custom background by using a photo from your webcam. You don’t have to limit your creativity to taking selfies. You can also use your webcam as a document camera by changing the angle of your webcam. You can snap a quick picture of a problem or passage from a book, then have students comment on it in their Jam.
Google Jamboard image background: Webcam options
Google Image Search will help you find an image for your custom background in Google Jamboard
Jamboard has a built-in set background feature that allows you to embed the power of Google Image search directly into your Jamboard image. You don’t even need to download and upload your image. Instead, you can click on the Google Image Search tab and perform a quick image search. Click on the image, then click “Set as Frame Background”.
Google Jamboard – Customized image background
This is a useful tip: You can add 16:9 (or more) to your search terms to ensure you get images that are correct in size so your background fills fully.
A word of caution: This Google Image Search doesn’t filter for images that can be reused, unlike other Google apps like docs and slides. It’s worth sharing this opportunity with your students to discuss copyright use, citations, and other teaching moments.
Google Jamboard allows you to set a background using an image from Google Drive
Next, you can choose and open an image file directly in your Google Drive. We love this option because it allows you to use both files you own and files you have shared with others.
Side panel: This panel lets you quickly refine your search within Google Drive. These options include:
- My Drive
- Shared Drives
- You can share this with me
Google Drive offers several options for creating a custom background picture
If you know exactly what file you are searching for, you can also search your drive using the top box. Once you find your file, click on the file and choose “Set as Frame Background”.
Google Jamboard – Import an Image from Google Photos
Google Photos is the last option for adding custom background to Google Jamboard. You can filter your search using either Albums or Photos in the side panel. Or you can use Google’s top search box to search for the file from your photos. Click on the image you are interested in using and choose “Set as Frame Background”.
Google Photos Options in Jamboard
How to create your background templates in Google Slides
While we won’t go into detail about Google Slides in this article, it’s worth a mention to help you get your template creation started. Google Slides is our favorite tool to create templates we can use in Google Jamboard to add custom backgrounds.
In Google Slides, create a slide deck and then set up your template to use the 16/9 aspect ratio. This is the default ratio Google Slides uses. But, just in case you need to change this, go to File, page setup and select the Widescreen 16/9 option.
Once you’ve created your masterpiece you will need to save it as an image file. You can do this by going to File, then downloading and then choosing either JPEG image, or PNG. The choice of file type doesn’t really matter, at least for the moment. These two file types are different in that JPEG uses a transparent background, while PNG uses a white background. It won’t matter which type of file you choose, until Google Jamboard gives the ability to add color behind the background images.
How to download a Google Slides slide to insert into Jamboard for background
Google Slides is our favorite tool. If you are as passionate about it as we are, check out our podcast episode to learn how to make the most Google Slides in your school. These great ideas will help you amplify your Google Jamboard custom backgrounds with this powerful and versatile tool.
Are you interested in learning more about Google Jamboard?
Google Jamboard is something we absolutely love! We love Google Jamboard so much that we recorded a podcast episode about it. Listen to the podcast and leave feedback on Flipgrid.