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Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2017

Scoodle Jam

Interactive whiteboard inspires learning beyond the blank page

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity

Subjects
  • English Language Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-8
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Whimsical visual style and thoughtfully designed templates make for a rich space for guided exploration and creativity.

Cons: Facebook-linked sharing options work unevenly and feel a little intrusive. Saving to the photo library can be cumbersome and a little uneven.

Bottom Line: Scoodle Jam offers kids just enough guidance to inspire and plenty of open space to create. Its best bet for learning comes with consistent guidance and feedback from teachers and parents.

Teachers can use the projects in Scoodle Jam to teach a wide range of ELA, science, and math concepts. Math teachers might use Scoodle Jam as a go-to app for illustrating equations and graphing. ELA and social studies teachers might use the graphic organizer templates to help students organize their formal writing and brainstorm for creative writing projects.

Scoodle Jam allows two users to collaborate on the same whiteboard space in real time via Facebook, which might give some teachers pause. Luckily, a more educator-friendly partner will host this sharing capability starting in June 2014, which will make this feature appropriate for kids under 13 who can't use Facebook. Most importantly, it's worth noting that the collaboration features are nice but not critical to the app's success: Scoodle Jam has enough rich content and features built in that working in "solo creation mode" offers ample opportunities for deep learning.

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Scoodle Jam is an interactive whiteboard app built for the classroom. All the features of other great whiteboard apps are here: Kids can choose to draw in a variety of colors, type unlimited text, and place built-in “stickers” on their creations, and their work is conveniently saved to the device’s photo library. Kids can log into Facebook through the app and use their profile image as the face of their on-screen avatar, and (with a strong Wi-Fi signal, the developers insist) two kids can draw on the same image at once from their own devices. 

What makes Scoodle Jam stand out is its array of templates and stickers. Kids can choose templates from the two classroom-ready projects or select a template that offers a more open-ended invitation to imagine and create. 

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What’s most impressive about Scoodle Jam is the learning potential of its built-in features. The Blocks, Solids, and Math stickers could all help kids illustrate and explore key math concepts; the graphic organizers offer multiple useful templates for brainstorming and organizing ideas. This is more than a blank space for kids to write: It’s a space that explicitly, elegantly supports student learning and imagination. 

The two projects also have great learning potential. In Wild Things, students create a new animal and design and describe its life, its habitat, and its needs. In Mobile Feast, students create their own food truck, examining issues of persuasive writing and design in the process. Each project is appropriate for students as young as second grade, and both projects are open-ended enough to be scaled up for older students. 

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Whimsical visual style and provocative leading questions invite kids to imagine, create, and explore.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Built-in projects, graphic organizer, and graph paper templates, in particular, offer thoughtful invitations to organized, creative, original thinking across the curriculum. All templates are best used with teacher guidance.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Built-in help text overlay is easy to access and offers succinct guidance. Developer website includes helpful free PDFs for educators with lesson plans for built-in projects and further ideas for classroom use.


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Teacher Reviews

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews)
Featured review by
Jennifer A. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Montclaire Elementary School
Los Altos, CA
Creative Project App

The students absolutely love these projects, even students who don't consider themselves artistic or creative. The topics are fun and engaging. I can't wait for Scoodle Jam to develop more topics. I like the options for drawing, stickers, photos, and typing because it gives students plenty of flexibility. A suggestion would be to develop further topics that tie into NGSS. Even though the app is rated grade 3-8 my 2nd graders had no trouble being successful with it.

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