This blog was updated on July 23 with additional resources.
During a recent Get Your Google On webinar, I shared some ways Google Drawings can be used in the classroom. I truly believe Google Drawings is a very powerful, but yet very under-utilized tool.
If you are not familiar with Google Drawings, it is free, web-based diagramming software developed by Google. It allows users to collaborate and work together in real-time to create flowcharts, organizational charts, concept maps, and many other types of diagrams. Drawings can be inserted into other Google documents, sheets, or presentations.
Accessing Google Drawings
You can access Google Drawings via your Google Drive. Once you are logged in to your Google Drive, you can create a new drawing as follows:
- Click the Create button in the top left corner.
- Then click More and Google Drawings from the drop-down menu.
- Your blank drawing will now open.
Google Drawings is also available as a Chrome app on the Chrome Web Store.
Ways to Use Drawings in the Classroom with Students
There are endless ways to use Google Drawings in the classroom. Below are just a few:
- Graphic Organizers – Have students create graphic organizers or concept maps with Google Drawings. This will help them organize their ideas and make logical sequence of concepts. Make use of connector lines in order to let students show relationships among different concepts. Here are ten great examples ready to use.
- Comic Strips – Let students create an autobiographical comic strip talking about themselves and summarizing important events in their lives. They can incorporate speech bubbles in order to experiment with different languages, sentence structure, or vocabulary in a meaningful context.
- Posters – Have students create posters for a classroom project or have them create posters that can be used around school. For example, create a poster on being a good digital citizen or how to stay safe online.
- Annotate Images – Students can upload their own images and tag important features, make comments, or highlight key concepts.
- Timelines – Have students create timelines and add information for the different dates, along with images and text. Timelines can be used to record events from a story or a history lesson in a sequential format. They can help students keep events in chronological order as they write summaries or help them make connections and recognize patterns in a series or process.
- Tutorial Graphics – Let students create a Google Drawing that explains how to do something or defines a concept. This is a great way students can show understanding and teach someone else at the same time.
- Infographics – Students can create infographics in order to communicate information or ideas. This is a great way to communicate visually with others, as well as assess students’ understanding of a topic.
- Word Webs – Have students who might be struggling with vocabulary words create word webs. The word webs can illustrate how key words or concepts are related to one another through graphic representations.
All the above activities can be done as a whole class, in small groups, or individually. However, by using Google Drawings, students can easily collaborate with one another in real time. In addition, drawings can also be published online as images or downloaded in standard formats such as JPEG, SVG, PNG, or PDF.
More Ways You Can Use Google Drawings
Google Drawing is not just for students. There are many ways you can use it, too:
- Create badges to award to your students.
- Create a custom signature for your email.
- Document what you learned at a conference – Check out this Google Drawing created by one of our members about her takeaways from the TCEA 2016 Convention.
Give It a Try
If you have never used Google Drawings before, I challenge you to give it a try. I usually recommend starting with an “All About Me” drawing. Enter text, images, and links that tell about you, where you’re from, where you work, your interests, your hobbies, etc. Once you are done, save it as a JPEG and upload it to this All About Me Padlet.
The next time you need to cover standards where students must explain, diagram, justify, develop, plan, or describe, consider using Google Drawings. If you are already using Google Drawings, we’d love to hear from you. Share in the comments below.