Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick and Simple Drawing Tools

Occasionally, you or your students may need to create a quick sketch to diagram or illustrate an idea. Fortunately there are free websites that will allow you to do that in less time than it takes to enter an email address. Two of these websites are Art Pad and Online Sketch Pad. Neither Art Pad nor Sketch Pad requires users to register in order to start drawing. Both websites let users share their work privately via email or by contributing to their public art galleries.

Sketch Pad and Art Pad do essentially the same tasks, allow users to draw free hand with a mouse or track pad. Sketch Pad is the website I used to create the drawings for the Cartoon Explanation of Cloud Computing that I posted yesterday. Art Pad is the website I used to create the image you see posted with this blog entry. Art Pad has a few more features than Sketch Pad does. Art Pad offers a selection of drawing tools including a paint brush and an eraser to clean up mistakes. Sketch Pad's erase options only allow you to undo the last action or start over. The coolest feature of Art Pad is the drawing actions playback that allows you to playback the actions taken to create your drawing.

Applications for Education
Art Pad and Sketch Pad are simple tools for creating drawings to use in presentations. Both websites are very intuitive so a teacher could, without spending a lot of classroom time on instruction, have a class creating images very quickly.

Free hand drawing programs like Art Pad and Sketch Pad can also be used as fun ways for younger students to learn to use a mouse or track pad.