The end of the semester is nigh, and with it brings a season of posters and projects that will meet their end in the dumpsters come June 2nd. This year, let's reduce the waste and look to our digital tools to replace and enhance the ubiquitous final project poster. By turning to our Google apps, we can not only replicate our trusty assignments, but enhance them, allowing students to add interactive content, synthesize sources, or work collaboratively.
This week, we will focus on an often neglected feature in our Google Apps tool belt: Google Drawings.
Drawings has a variety of uses in all subjects, so let's all get to know this learning-friendly app.
Here are three ideas to get you started in brainstorming how you can use this app to facilitate learning and assess understanding (courtesy of Matt Miller at Ditch That Textbook):
1. Graphic organizers – Often, students have great ideas in their minds. They just struggle to organize them into the logical sequence they need to present them. Graphic organizers can help them pull those ideas and information into a great project or presentation.
How to do it: Create a graphic organizer (think KWL, flow map, Venn diagram ... or make up your own!) in Google Drawings. Then share it with students as “Everyone with the link can view” and have students go to File > Make a copy … to create their own copy of it in their Google Drives. If you’re using Google Classroom, when you create an assignment, use the drop-down menu in the bottom right to make a copy for every student in Google Classroom.
2. Interactive posters – Creating posters is an activity that’s a staple in many classrooms. If you don’t want to hassle with glue sticks, markers and magazines for cutting images out, Google Drawings can help. Drawings is a great spot for creating interactive posters. Regular posters are static and only contain the information you can fit on them. Interactive posters have clickable links, making the poster just a starting point for more information.
How to do it: Students create a Google Drawing. They add text boxes with information and shapes to help organize (think of the construction paper behind the text). They can add Creative Commons images by going to Insert > Image ... > Search tab to be good digital citizens. They can highlight text and push Ctrl+K or go to Insert > Link … to make clickable links in their text.
3. Annotate images – Thousands and thousands of images are available in Google Drawings (as well as other Google Apps). Just click Insert > Image … and choose “Search”. You can always upload your own images. Once they’re in a drawing, use text boxes, shapes and arrows to write over the top of those images. Use them to tag important features, add commentary, circle or highlight key concepts and more.
For more ideas, read the rest of the Miller's post "10 engaging Google Drawings activities for classes."
For this week's PD lesson (paid as one hour):
1. Go to our Google Classroom (code: 4fztika)
2. Choose one of the assignment options (creating an assignment or filling out a graphic organizer)
3. Submit and mark as done
I will send over a sign-in sheet once I receive your work so that you can get paid. :)
If you would like assistance, please let me know! You can also post any questions in the comments below.
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