Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday Tech Tip: Creating Thinking Maps in Google Drawings

Tomorrow, February 5th, is Digital Learning Day, so we thought we'd post about creating digital Thinking Maps on the Chromebooks.  While there are quite a few options for creating free-hand drawings in Chrome or other browsers, today's post will focus on Google Drawings.  Google Drawings (like other Google Docs) allow for live collaboration, sharing, & publishing.

Most people are familiar with using Google Docs for creating documents, but there's another option under the "Create" menu when you're in Google Drive -- Drawing.

After you select "Drawing," you'll be taken to a blank canvas with shape, text, and line tools in the top toolbar.  If students are comfortable using drawing tools (they all work in a similar way), they can start creating on their own.  However, if students need a few models for practice, they can use the existing Thinking Maps Templates in the CCSD Template Gallery. (You can either use the link here, or you can go under the "File" menu inside of any existing drawing and choose "New" -> "from Template."  Other templates are also available in the CCSD gallery for presentations, documents, forms, and spreadsheets.)

If you see a drawing template that you'd like to use, click "Use this Template" and it will create a version inside of your own Google Drive to edit and share.  Tip: use "ctrl + D" in Chrome to duplicate shapes in Google Drawings.

The templates in the CCSD Gallery are only there to help staff and students get comfortable using the drawing tools.  Because students should be creating these from scratch, the templates are a good option for those just starting out. 

If you would like to participate in Digital Learning Day but aren't sure where to start, having students create a digital Thinking Map could be a great option.

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