How to add Animated backgrounds to Google Jamboard

Jamboard is one of my latest favorites in Google Workspace and I am not alone! Hundreds of teachers and instructional coached around the word are all talking about how great Jamboard is for online learning, as well as in class teaching.

I have been using Jamboard from its early days, and it has come a long way. We have seen the addition of templated backgrounds, followed by the ability to upload your own custom background. We have seen an update that allows us to insert an image, only to then see text boxes arrive a few months later.

Heck, they even included the Jamboard links into Google Meet as their main Whiteboard application for online meetings and lessons!

It is clear that Google is serious about Jamboard. And I am too! So let’s see how far we can push the boundaries of what’s possible and add some custom animated backgrounds! That’s right, we are going to animate the backgrounds used in Jamboard for an effect that looks like this:

Animated background in Google Jamboard

In order to get this done without video editors or long render times we are going to be using the Canva website. Canva is a design focused website with many hundreds of templates and image elements.

After opening the website create your free account and start with your first design. Click the ‘Create a design’ button in the top right corner and choose the Presentation type, or select a custom size.

Select the presentation or custom size type.

The custom size you will use is 1920px by 1080px which is the same as your Jamboard dimensions.

Once you’ve opened the new design, go ahead and add in your images and elements that have to be part of the background. If you are looking for some amazing Creative Commons 0 images (Images you can freely use) check out Pexels, or Unsplash.

Adding elements and searching for animated objects in Canva.

Now let’s add in some animated objects; select the ‘Elements; from the left hand menu.

Within this menu you will want to add some options by clicking on the search options and ticking the animated box.

This will make sure you only search for animated objects. Find the ones you’d like to use as your background and add them onto your Canva design. Once you’re happy wit the result. find the download button and select the .gif file type.

Make sure you remember where this file is saved as we will need it in a few minutes. Go back to Google Jamboard and open up your Jam file.

Under the background options, you will see an option to upload your own wallpaper or background. Go ahead and select this option.

Upload the .gif file as your background in Jamboard.

Now you choose the .gif file created in Canva and Jamboard will upload the file as its background.

You can start adding all the regular Jamboard elements and if you’d like to copy the same background to another slides, simply click on the slide browser, select the three dots for more options and duplicate the slide.

Watch the video tutorial

For a complete video walkthrough of this find the embedded video below:

Make sure to let me know how you are using this in class and leave a comment on the Blog or YouTube video to start that conversation!


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