Embedding Google Drawings in HyperDocs and Interactive Digital Activities


Google Drawings has become one of most important tools in Remote Learning Toolbox. I've always thought that I've done a lot with Docs, Forms, and Slides, but Drawings was something that I never utilized as much as I could. 

These posts share a few examples of how I've used Google Drawings with my students this year. 

In todays post I want to focus on how I am using Google Drawings embedded in Google Docs to create HyperDocs and Interactive Activities for remote learning. While my focus is on Earth Science and the Environment right now, I think these ideas could be adapted for any content area or grade level. 

When I want my students to work through content that includes diagrams, embedded Google Drawings is a perfect way to add an interactive element to the doc.

Here is a quick overview of how it works.

  1. Start with a new Doc or an activity that you already have with some diagrams in a Google Doc.
  2. Find the place you want to add the drawing and under the "Insert" menu choose "Drawing" and "New". This will open up a simplified blank drawing window. 
  3. You can add text boxes, lines, shapes and insert images. I typically insert the image and then add text to shapes to create an embedded drag and drop diagram. I also sometimes keep it simple and just insert an image and ask my students to label or mark it up. 
  4. Click "Save and Close" and the Google Drawing will be embedded in the Doc.
  5. Share a copy with your students. I use Google Classroom and provide a copy for each student. When the student opens their copy, all they need to do is double click on the image to add details or interact with image or graphic. They will each have there own copy of the embedded Drawing in their copy of the Doc.  

You can learn more about the features of a Google Drawing embedded in a Google Doc on this help page

Here is a sample that you can make a copy of to try it from the student perspective. Just click on the link and click on the "USE TEMPLATE" button to make a copy that you can explore. 

If you are looking additional Remote Learning Resources, please visit this document. If you are looking form additional Google Tips and Tricks, just type Google into the search above. 

Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Learning!

2020 Digital Shopping Guide and Online Holiday Specials for Educators


Every year I do more and more of my shopping online. The thrill of driving from store to store and fighting the crowds just isn't there for me anymore. Add in the fact that we are living in a world where many stores are closed, online shopping make quite a bit of sense.

Each year I share some Holiday shopping tips I’ve organized to help teachers, families, and just about anyone save a little green this holiday season. I try put this guide out once a year and I think there is something in this post that can help just about anyone regardless of your online shopping experience.

Do you have additional online shopping tips or resources? Please share them in the comments below.
I wanted to stat this year with few sites that are new to me, that I will definitely be exploring this year.

Best Online Deals These sites work in a variety of ways to find some of the best deals online.

Online Cashback and Coupon Websites
There are many sites that take advantage of online advertising to provide the consumer with coupons and cashback for major retailers when you shop online. They are free, secure, and incredibly easy to use. Combine these with rewards on a credit card and it the cashback can start to really add up. Mr. Rebates, Rakuten, and Honey are great resources for online shopping.
  • Mr. Rebates - Online Coupons and Cash Back
  • Rakuten - Online Coupons and Cash Back
  • Honey - Online deals and coupons. 
Amazon and eBay
Great places to shop for literally anything, especially Tech. You will frequently find the best prices for stuff here.  Remember that you are not always buying directly Amazon. Like eBay, Amazon has items for sale from other companies and independent sellers.  Both eBay and Amazon have incredible customer support. Mr. Rebates and Rakuten also support Cashback for both sites.
Technology Purchases Most major online retailers will run a variety of sales throughout the year. I would recommend starting your technology search by exploring the Amazon Deals Page. Most mobile service providers will include deals on phones when you sign up for a contract, but smart shoppers can often find great deals online.

  • iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, or Macbook? Apple typically runs their once a year sale on Black Friday online and in store.
  • The MacRumors Site typically has the most updated details about Apple Store Sales.

Android and Chromebooks

Did you know that both the NEA and AFT posts some excellent deals for teachers? These deals include merchandise, restaurants, and travel. 
Protecting Your Credit Card Online
Most online stores/credit card companies do a great job taking care of credit card purchases, but a great way to pay from a lot of online purchases is to use PayPal. It’s free and provides an extra layer of security between your credit card and online shopping. Paypal also supports free returns for many purchases.

The Rest of the Story

Product Reviews
Online Electronics Retailers
Unique and Creative Gifts

Google Drawings Venn Diagram Template

Creating is an essential part of learning. I've always believed that having my students draw is an essential component of our learning experience, but this has been a little harder to manage with my students at home. It's not that I can't have them draw on pen and paper, we still do this all the time. The problem is sharing these drawings with the rest of the class. There is always one glitch or another when my students take a photo of a drawing and then share it digitally.

To compensate during Remote Learning, Google Drawings has become an essential tool for creating to learn and sharing our learning with authentic audiences. While this is not something new for me, I am definitely using Google Drawings more now than I have in the past. Here are a few examples of how I've used Google Drawings in class. 
Today I wanted to share something new I created using Google Drawings that really isn't about drawing at all. I need a Venn diagram to compare rocks and minerals and after a short internet search I decided to create my own. I started with two perfect circles but stretching them a bit seemed to give a bit more room for text. I don't know if this is the best digital Venn Diagram on the market, but I think it will work for my purposes.

Feel free to make a copy and modify for your classroom. If you think your students need more space for text, you can also make it into rectangles. I also have one that I created using Google slides. 

Curious About Google Drawing Templates? Here are a few more great resources your might want to explore. 
Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions. Happy Learning!

Friday Fun- Learning Reflections with Google Doodles

Happy Friday and Happy Almost Halloween!

I know it has been a while and this is not even close to the most useful post I've shared, but when you are struggling to engage in teaching and learning it can be a strange journey to inspiration. I found a bit of inspiration today and wanted to share. Yeah! 

Today I discovered the 2020 Google Halloween Doodle and this led me down the rabbit hole that is the Google Doodle Archive. My exploration inspired me to create something I might use to engage my students in both the Google Doodle Archive and our course content..

Google Doodle Assessment / Reflection Template

Even if this just leads to something fun for my students, I totally think it will be worth exploring during these strange days we are all living in. 

There have been so many incredible Google Doodles shared over the years. How can you use these to inspire and engage your students with a dash of fun? (Please, share your ideas in the comments below!)

I promise I'll be back to creating and sharing soon.

Happy Learning Everyone!

BTW - The animated GIF for the Doodle was created using Screencastify.

Additional Hybrid and Remote Learning Collection

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