Draftback Extension is Magical…

During a Google APPS workshop I tend to point out the “Revision History” Tool. Often stating how it allows the teacher to view a students work in ways they never imagined possible. Revision history permits the educator to see every step a student takes to complete a writing masterpiece. It is the closet an educator may come to understanding a student’s thought process. What makes this even easier to do is the Draftback Chrome Extension by J. Somers.

The Draftback Chrome Extension attaches to a Google Doc.  It allows the user to create a animation of the authors writing process. Like magic draftback displays every edit created up to the very last Google Doc sentence. This lets an educator view the writing process in ways they were never able to before. It allows the teacher to provide authentic proactive feedback to assist the student author with improving upon writing skills.

Draftback.gif

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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

crossword-1

 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

insert Crossword 3.gif

Teaching Students Collaboration Skills Using Google Photos

When students collaborate together creating a group project planning is a key to success. Generally there are rubrics or step by step directions to follow for supporting students with gathering information. It is not unusual for one student to pick out the image and persuades the others to use it with no real discussion. If it is a TRUE collaborative project built to have students communicate with each other then shouldn’t they discuss the images too?

Why not have the students create a GooglePhotos Album to use as a repository for images to be used in the group project? Each student would be responsible to submit one picture to the GooglePhotos Album, and write a short sentence about the picture.

Lifecycle Google Photo Album Sample

GooglePhoto Shared Album.gif

Why Use This?

  1. Supports student collaboration
    • Students can share reasons for image use
    • Comment area can be used to discuss the purpose of the image
  2. Opportunity for students to practice “Digital Citizenship Skills”
  3. Provides a shared receptacle for images
  4. Every student contributes input
  5. Images are shared in an organized easy to understand manner

The Power of a Google Drawing

Last summer I discovered Google Drawings along with the vast uses for supporting education. Recently I’ve noticed how the Google Drawing APP is integrated into some of the other core components within a Google APPS for Education Account.

This past week I had the opportunity to explore using the Google Drawings  integrated within a Google Document. This tool unleashes the power to create original clipart, charts, graphic organizers, meme’s and etc… within a Google Document. This is done by layering both image files, shapes and a few other detailed steps to have the drawing image positioned properly in a Google Document.

Why do this?

  1. Provides visual support to help the student complete assignments.
  2. Students can express ideas in a picture along with words.
  3. Provides an interactive manipulative for problem solving built into the Google Document.
  4. Mind map support for writing.
    • Student may move Mind map throughout document.
  5. Provides an area to do computation within the document.
  6. Here are a few ideas to support creativity and critical thinking skills 
    • Student creates a Meme positioned at top of document.
      • Student then types or voice types explaining their inspiration for creating the Meme.
        • Same idea can be used with
          • Poetry layered on a graphic background.
          • An opening paragraph layered upon representative illustration.
  7. There is too Many Google Drawing Support ideas to share in one blog post  list.

MOST IMPORTANT to this POST:

It is an interactive way to support writing!

USING GOOGLE DRAWING

to

Layer Writing on Top of Graphics

  • Open a Google Doc

Open New Google Doc.gif

  • Insert an image
    • Step 1: Click Insert
    • Step 2: Click Drawing
  •  drawing 1-2.png
    • Click Insert 
    • Choose Image

Drawing 2

  • Add a Text Box
    • Click Insert
    • Choose Text Box

Drawing 3

Watch Here to LEARN More!!!

 

 

Use a Google Presentation for a Narrative Writing Graphic Organizer

Click Here to COPY TEMPLATE

Google Presentation Slides are perfect for creating graphic organizers for writing. The slides help isolate step by step directions for students to follow. This makes it easier for the student to maintain focus for each individual step. Google Presentations help the student to maintain organization of their ideas before writing their final copy. The teacher can link out to a Google Doc for the students to copy to their Google Drive on the last slide to the graphic organizer. This will save the student a few steps and time with getting started typing their final narrative writing. Imagine “NO” time is wasted by the student when creating a Google Document.

 Trick for Creating Link for Forcing Student to Copy a Google Doc

  • Highlight and Copy Share Link

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.51.05 AM

  • Paste Link and Highlight from Edit to the end of the link address

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.51.41 AM

  • Replace highlighted words with the word copy

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.52.00 AM

  • Copy entire link and paste to create a link on the last slide of the presentation