The next session I’m attending is Design Playground with Google Drawing, by Ken Shelton (the keynote speaker). While I’m familiar with Google Drawing, I have never seen it meaningfully applied, so I’m excited to learn something new.
Ken begins his workshop by telling us how Google Draw can be used for within a rich pedagogy. The first thing he points out is that there is a lot of cross over from other Google Tools (Docs, Sheets, etc) as you can share, comment, and a few other things. We start by inserting our first shape, a rectangle! It’s easy, just click, drag, and draw. I manipulate the image by changing the color of the image and the line; you can even play with the weight of the line. We drew another rectangle, but this time we held down the shift key. This time, it aligned the shape and drew a perfect square. He shows us a few different shortcut tricks that you can find here.
After we have mastered shapes, we next get to play with spatial relationships! How do shapes work together? What’s the differences between cross and intersect? Touches and connects? Overlap and Overlay? So now we get to play again by scaling our shapes up or down and then creating different spatial relationships. I create a square and then insert a circle and then an equilateral triangle.
By using the guidelines that appear, you can perfectly align these shapes; you’re trusting not your eyes, but the program! By using the Arrange –> Order feature you can select which shape overlaps the other one. By playing with the alignment, order settings, and color and line settings, I can create an ice-cream cone with a cherry on top! Even though this drawing was simple, I had to play with size ratio, resizing, and manipulate color. Next, by selecting Arrange–> group, all of these shapes are now one! I can resize and align as a single design.
The possibilities of layering provide a a world of opportunities – students can create graphics and other designs (like infographic tools). I have to admit that this is far more flexible than I thought. I can certainly think of some ways to apply this.
One exercise example he gave us was to use the shapes to visually represent concepts, like: resistance, overwhelm, stress, and rhythm. You can even share drawings with those outside of the Google Domain by sharing as a PDF, Scalable Vector Graphics, PNG, and JPEG. You can even import it into
There really are some cool tools, and it’s not just the red-headed step child of Google Apps.