Students Whiteboarding w/Google Keep

Thanks to the “Winter Holiday Season” I finally had some downtime to explore more Google Products.  I have used Google Keep to create shopping lists and share quick synchronized notes. However I will confess underestimating the “Power” of the Google Keep APP to provide an interactive white boarding experience for students. Have you ever though about using Google Keep for screen-casting?

Screen-casting can be used to assess students knowledge of content. This is how this Googlicious idea works. The student will use the Google Keep’s Drawing Feature  to explain content while being recorded with a Chrome Browser Screencast extension such as Screencastify. The Screencastify is a perfect extension to combined with Google Keep. Screencastify allows the user to save the video right to Google Drive. I love when two powerful tools can be smashed together to provide one awesome learning experience.


Learning Vocabulary w/Google Drawings

How do you get students to internalize learning vocabulary words? This was a discussion I had with a colleague. Sometimes the simplest activity with a “techno twist” can be the one which engages students with active learning. My colleague came up with the idea of having students create a crossword puzzle and sharing this with their friends as a vocabulary study tool. This idea inspired the use of a Google Drawing  in conjunction with  the Discover Education Criss Cross Puzzlemaker.

Using a crossword generator makes this project easier for the students to learn how to design a crossword puzzle. The students simply input the vocabulary words and the definitions into the crossword generator. Once the crossword puzzle is created a screenshot of the puzzle is captured and inserted into a Google Drawing. This provides the skeleton for creating an interactive crossword classmates can try solving. The crossword project supports critical thinking skills, using creativity, and basic technology skills.

Steps for Creating the Crossword Puzzle

  1. Click for Discover Education Criss Cross Puzzlemaker
  2. Enter a Title for the Crossword puzzle
  3. Enter the Words and Definitions
  4. Click Create Puzzle


 Insert Crossword into Google Drawings

  1. Open Google Drawings
  2. Click Insert Image
  3. Choose image to Upload
  4. Click Select
  5. Crop & resize image
  6. Insert Table

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Google Slides Transforms Into EBook

What would your student’s think if the Google Slides Book they created magically transformed into an EBook with curling pages? This can be done with the wave of a magic wand. No kidding aside! Okay maybe with a savvy teacher at the helm guiding the students with this innovative project. Alright you caught me again! All you really need is minimal technology skills to guide your students with authoring their first Ebook.

The trick to this project is creating a Google Slide using 8.5″ x 11″ page setup. Once the book is created the slide deck is downloaded as a PDF. Now the fun begins! The next thing the teacher does is upload the PDF to FlipSnack Edu. Yup it really is as easy as this sounds!

Set Google Slides Page Setup

  1. Open the Google Slide Presentation
  2. Click File
  3. Select Page Setup
  4. Under Page Setup Click Drop Down Arrow
  5. Select Custom
  6. Add Width Size (8.5″) followed by Length (11″)
  7. Click OK

Google Slides Page Setup.gif

Download Google Slide Deck as PDF

  1. Click File
  2. Select Download as
  3. Click PDF


Upload Slide Deck PDF to FlipSnack Edu

  1. Logon to
  2. Wave Cursor over New Project
  3. Select start from PDF
  4. Select Upload or Drop and Drag PDF file

upload-to-flipsnackeduWhy Turn a PDF Into a Flip Book???

  1. Provides Engaging way to share Student Creative Writing
  2. Teacher or Student can embed Flip Book into Blog or Website
  3. Student or Teacher can use as a classroom presentation
  4. Provides another format to share projects
  5. Offers an easy way to organize and curate projects

Acrostic Poems & Google Docs No Way!

Yes! It is possible to create an Acrostic Poem in a Google Doc. Did I hear you say, “Oh how can this be?” “There is no vertical orientation for a text box or a vertical font?” The answer is within a Google Drawing.

Doc's insert vertical text Acrostic Poem.gif

Creating Vertical Text for Acrostic Poem

  1. Open Google Doc and give it a name
  2. Go to Insert in the Doc’s Toolbar
  3. Scroll down to Drawings & Click
  4. Create a narrow Text Box
  5. Select Font Size
  6. Align Text: Left, Center or Right
  7. Type the word
  8. Click the Blue Save & Close Button
  9. Set the Drawing Margin to “0”
  10. Choose text break
  11. Type the poem in an open area of the doc
  12. Move the horizontal text and adjust as needed
  13. Change line spacing & font size of poem if necessary

NOTE: Students can insert images, change font color and type styles to personalize their poem.

Boom! Now you Created an Acrostic Poem!

Students Build with Chrome~Oh! Yeah!!!

Looking for an easy way to engage students in math, social studies, science or perhaps ELA? Why not release the students creative and critical thinking skills juices with  “Build with Chrome” ?  This can start in the early years with something simple like asking the student to create a rectangle. Then discussing as a group what makes rectangles different from other shapes.

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A screen capture is taken of the creation and inserted into a Google Drawings, Slides or ? Once the image is inserted into a Google Doc the student can write a question along with the answer.

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Why not provide a challenge for the student and ask them if they can create a building seen in Egypt? Let them know a second screenshot will be taken. However this time they have to write sharing factual information about the building they created.

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The beauty of this idea is the teacher can take it to many different learning levels and use in a variety of content areas.

NOTE: Real life hand-on building items can be used in this project. It is absolutely fine to use a digital photo of classroom projects. Teacher doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel. Smartphones or Tablets are awesome “Tech Tools” for capturing images.

How would you use this to support learning in your classroom?

Please share your ideas in the comment area