Now that I have caught your attention with the brilliance of Google Draw, I am hoping to inspire YOU to incorporate more creativity and student expression into your day-to-day classroom with this powerful graphic design tool! I cannot even begin to express how much Google Draw has changed my teaching practice. With the help of Google Draw students have been empowered to represent their learning in a variety of dynamic and creative ways. Students are absolutely flourishing with the innovative ways that Google Draw can be used to demonstrate their learning—from character portraits, to magazine covers, to landscape paintings—Google Draw can truly do it all.
Learning has become so much more than paragraph writing, novel question sets, or worksheets. Students are loving the ability to demonstrate their learning in unique, meaningful, and purposeful ways. Students are constantly gathering ideas from each other, building upon inspiration, and pushing each other to new limits. The representations that students come up with on their own will be more than you could ever imagine with a rigid and static criteria sheet. I am constantly blown away by the variety, powerful, and brilliant ideas that I see on a daily basis with Google Draw. I dare you to step outside of your comfort zone and offer students some imagination and flexibility to how they would like to showcase and demonstrate their learning to you.
Some Examples of Google Draw Projects:
|~Magazine Covers||~Character Portraits||~Instagram Posts||~Novel Symbols|
|~Seasonal Designs||~Timelines||~Sketchnoting||~Scene Illustrations|
|~Artist Re-creations||~Inspirational people||~Tangrams||~Cultural pieces|
A Few Google Draw Tips to Get you Started:
- Always have students start their creations with the curve tool. Drawing ideas can either be traced with this tool or created from scratch. It is important for students to realize that they need to make a closed shape in order to colour in the section, being sure to connect the line from where they started drawing.
- Have students create an image or representation one section at a time. All graphic design is created in layers and connected together to form an overall image.
- Have students group together objects/sections once they have completed them. Highlight all pieces (hold down ctrl) and then right click on the group. This will prevent frustration as once pieces are grouped, students won’t need to keep shifting them around to work on nearby sections. Grouping is also great when a graphic design is completed so that all parts remain intact when moving, etc.
- Start with basic clipart art style designs and work your way up to more complex ones. Real life pictures and portraits are among the hardest designs to do, as they require patience, layering, and time.
- Use the “Colorzilla” extension to color match website drawings and creations. This chrome web store extension will give you the exact color code of the specific hue you would like from another source. Simply click on the extension in chrome, scroll over the color you would like, click to copy the code to your clipboard, and then paste it in your custom color palette. Voila! You have the exact color you wanted without having to keep experimenting with different colors.
- All Google Draw graphic designs can be exported as jpg’s and png’s to be included in other core applications of Google. Students love the ability to include their own graphics in their docs, slides, and sites.
Google Draw has proven itself to be an engaging, exciting, and powerful learning tool for my students. They feel in control of their learning and are constantly empowered by their ability to control and manipulate their own original ideas and perspectives. Allowing students to take the plunge into Google Draw has left me in awe of the many mind-blowing creations and representations that turn up in my Google Drive. Google Draw enables a whole new kind of success in the classroom, and one where students can communicate their ideas visually and expand their abilities as a modern, digitally fluent learner.
A passionate middle school educator in Victoria, B.C., Emma Cottier loves to promote student creativity and advocacy with digital tools and graphic design. A Google Innovator, Softball Coach, Yearbook Publisher, and travel enthusiast. I love trying to do my best to provide unique and engaging learning opportunities for my students.