Thursday, August 26, 2021

Five Ideas for Using Google Drawings This Fall

A couple of weeks ago I shared directions for an icebreaker activity that can be done in Jamboard or Google Drawings. Jamboard and Google Drawings have a lot of similarities. There are some differences between the two that can make one better than the other depending upon the use case. Here are five ways to think about using Google Drawings in your online or in-person classroom this fall. 

Create Labeling Activities
Google Drawings lets you import images that you can then draw on top of. One of the ways that I've used this in the past is to create a map labeling activity. To do that just open a new Google Drawing and then use the integrated image search to find a map. Once you've selected a map you can use the drawing tools to mark on it. Here's a demonstration of how the whol process works including distribution through Google Classroom.

Virtual Icebreakers
I shared this idea a few weeks ago, but it's worth repeating for those who missed it. The idea is to have students virtually place themselves anywhere in the world through the use of Google Drawings. To do this students first need to find a picture of themselves and remove the background from it. Photoscissors makes it quick and easy to remove the background then download a new background-free image. Once they have a picture of themselves then students open Google Drawings where they insert a picture of place that they want to visit or revisit. Finally, they then insert their profile picture over the background image in Google Drawings. Those steps might sound complicated, but they're not. In this short video I show the whole process. 

Create Flowcharts
Google Drawings is an excellent tool for creating flowcharts. You can make your own and distribute them to your students via Google Classroom or have them make their own flowcharts to demonstrate an understanding of a process. This video shows you how to create a flowchart with Google Drawings and then distribute it to your students via Google Classroom. 

Make a Digital Turkey
Last fall I received an email from a reader who was looking for some ideas on how do a digital version of the classic Thanksgiving Thankfulness Turkey project in which students add feathers to a drawing of turkey and each feather has something they're thankful for written on it. My suggestion for creating a digital version of the Thankful Turkey was to use a combination of Pixabay and Google Drawings. I made this short video to illustrate how that process would work. 

Create Your Own Icons and Shapegrams
Tony Vincent offers a complete website all about how to create your own shapegrams and icons. In December of 2019 he was kind enough to present a webinar during the Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference. In that webinar he gave us a crash course on some of the finer points of using Google Drawings. You can watch that webinar recording here