ITS Hopes to Get Students Jamming

by Gregory BolandContributing Writer

In O’Malley study rooms exists two rather large red televisions. Jamboards, as they are called, are produced and developed by Google and parent company Alphabet. The Jamboards are integrated with all other g-suite products used by Manhattan College.

Touchscreen enabled and internet capable, the boards support 16 simultaneous touch points. The boards first were available in the summer of 2017 and the two in the library were purchased by the school shortly thereafter.

MC is one of the first schools to use the boards and was invited by Google to present on Jamboard implementation at a NERCOMP higher education conference.

Richard Musal, director of client services and operation, and a Manhattan College graduate, gave a short demo on the Jamboards and what services they provide to the students this past Thursday.

Gregory Quagieni, IT support specialist, described the positioning of the Jamboards.

“We wanted something in the library that students could use … which is why it’s not in classrooms,” he said.

An updated iteration of smart boards, Jamboards allow for students to reach peak collaboration across multiple devices and platforms.

The document type then aired crates called Jams, allowing large groups of students to simultaneously collaborate and brain storm on the namesake board and through any device that supports Google Drive.

The boards are entirely accessible to students who use the study rooms in O’Malley Library.

Whatever the kind of work students might need to jam with, the board has many integrated features, mimicking a normal white board with the capabilities of a Google Doc while also allowing students to crop images and information directly from the web.

A common concern with the Jamboards is how it compares to smart boards, which after being integrated to many lower education schools were problematic and required significant upkeep.

Musal said, “I like [Jamboards] a lot, from an IT perspective you’re always looking for products that don’t need a lot of support and maintenance, so that’s kind of like the IT persons dream. Even from a client’s perspective as much as we don’t want to have to sit here and constantly maintaining things I don’t think clients want that either because the more you have to work on something the more likely somethings going to go wrong.”

He continued.

“With this you turn it off you turn it back on again its wiped out, it’s like a Chromebook almost… a smartboard requires a PC, and along with acquiring a PC are all the things that can go wrong with a Windows computer, so you’re very dependent on that it’s not an all in one. This thing, it has one plug, it’s literally a huge Android tablet with a specific purpose,” Musal said.

Most students are not aware of the capabilities of the Jamboards or how to use them.

“I know a lot of engineers use of it but we don’t even know how to connect it,” said sophomore Tatiana Benitez.

The IT department will be hosting a demo and intro session in O’Malley 401 on Nov. 2 from 1:00-2:00 pm and from Nov. 7 at 12:00-1:00 pm, if any students are interested in getting an overview and demo of the Jamboard’s features and capabilities.

If you or anyone you know has used a Jamboard the IT department is looking for your feedback and if students have any input or would like to see more Jamboards at MC, IT’s survey that will be put out soon.