Home /Case Studies / Google Jamboard Helps Georgia Career Institute Create a Successful Remote Learning Program
Those who work in hair, beauty, and wellness know how to adapt. Afterall, those fields are dictated by the latest trends and styles. To stay current, the career training school Georgia Career Institute (GCI) in Conyers, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, has continuously evolved its program offerings in wellness and beauty. Opening in 1975, GCI prepares students for careers in cosmetology, esthetics, nail technology and massage therapy. As attendance and demand grew, GCI responded in equal measure, expanding to two more campuses — in Murfreesboro and McMinnville, Tennessee.
When the pandemic hit, GCI once again explored how it could continue its mission of providing outstanding vocational preparation for its students. The answer was to move its theory classes online, with students meeting only in person for the hands-on modalities and clinical experience.
“We're at a point where students are accustomed to learning in classrooms flowing with internet, equipped with interactive displays and devices, and accessed through the cloud,” said Lauren Davis, regional director for GCI. “Traditional learning is no longer traditional. For our students, traditional means online and interactive learning. We realized that if we didn’t jump on board with how education was shifting, we were going to lose our learner.”
To move forward, GCI knew updates would be inevitable. At the time, the classrooms were equipped only with projectors. They wanted a display solution that would take the institute to the next level. With only weeks to spare before students started enrolling virtually, administrators began searching for an interactive display that would integrate well with the school’s Google Classroom platform. They discovered the Google Jamboard, the only all-in-one 4K UHD interactive display from Google that is ready to go out of the box.
“Our priority was ensuring ease of transition. Whatever solution we chose, our teachers would have to learn it almost overnight,” she said. “Jamboard supports what they already know — Google. It wasn’t foreign, so they could get started right away without fear of moving into the remote model or creating a bad experience for our students.”
Furthermore, teachers and students would be able to seamlessly share files without introducing new workflows. From the Jamboard, teachers only have to log into their Google account to pull up materials within Google Docs or access Gmail.
Not only was the display Google compatible and user friendly, but it also came integrated with Google Meet video conferencing service. Instructors at GCI could launch a video conference effortlessly by simply tapping the app onscreen or the meeting reminder on their calendar. They wouldn’t have to fuss with third-party apps or use their Chromebook to launch the call. In addition, because the display comes built-in with a wide-angle camera, microphone, and speakers, instructors wouldn’t have to learn how to operate separate devices.
Jamboard’s digital whiteboard feature would open up channels of interaction, engagement, and comprehension that is critical for remote learning. The feature allows anyone in the Meet to annotate or mark-up materials on screen. With the click of a button, instructors can toggle between the whiteboard, other Google applications, and the call. All sessions as well as any notes written on the board can be saved to their Google Classroom. The digital whiteboard feature would also be useful for in-person practical exercises as well.
“Before if a student didn’t know what angle they needed to use for a haircut, for example, the instructor would use hand motions to demonstrate,” she said. “The Jamboard provides the teacher with a surface they can easily pull up and draw exactly where to place their shears. It gives students an easy-to-comprehend visual that commits that information to memory.”
Another area of concern was ensuring whatever display was chosen it would need to complement its curriculum platform, Learn About Beauty (LAB). LAB works in conjunction with Google Classroom, which reassured them there wouldn't be any hiccups between the two platforms. After testing two Jamboards in its administrative offices, the school was confident it was the winning remote solution.
“When you already know Google, the Jamboard makes it very easy to step into a remote learning model,” she said.
GCI installed 16 Jamboards across its three campuses; eight at its main campus in Conyers, seven at the Murfreesboro campus, and one at the McMinnville campus. Because the Jamboards are all-in-one displays, they were deployed quickly and effortlessly. In a matter of weeks, the institute was ready to launch the new virtual program for its theory classes.
In addition to advancing the organization’s learning methods, the displays have solved absenteeism. Before, when a student was absent, instructors would have to work with each individual on makeup content, reteaching the same lesson and gathering all of the data for the student. This created a pattern of always catching up. Now students can view recorded classes by logging into their Google Classroom account. This also has helped solve any COVID-19 quarantine dilemmas because students can continue to pursue their theory classes from home. Plus, instead of COVID-19 halting vendor webinars, the school is continuing them virtually over Google Meet.