Thursday, March 26, 2009

Google Docs Adds Drawings and Shapes

It's official, Google Docs now does everything that I need a document creation program to do. Last night Google announced that you can now insert drawings and shapes into your Google Docs documents. You can create free-hand drawings, use pre-defined shapes and templates, or use a combination of both inside of one document. For the last year I've been creating 90% of my documents on Google Docs. The other 10% were created using Open Office because I needed to be able to insert boxes and circles as I created graphic organizers for my students. Now that I can use Google Docs for those tasks, I can't see myself using anything but Google Docs for document creation.

To use the new drawing options, select "drawing" from the "insert" menu in your Google Docs document editor. I have included some screen captures below to show the new drawing options.
















The drawing tool in action.
















Drawings inserted into document.




















Applications for Education
I was already a huge proponent of using Google Docs in the classroom, now I'm even more convinced that it is the best option for document creation. Students can access their documents from any Internet-connected computer and share them with you at any time. Google Docs completely eliminates the "my printer's broken" or "I forgot it" excuses for not getting assignments done.

The drawing features in Google Docs now makes it possible for teachers to create graphic organizers and other worksheets in Google Docs. The drawing features could even be used to create mathematics worksheets. For example, students could measure the angle in my drawing above.

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