Illustrate in Google Drawings even without a single artistic bone in your body

A picture tells a thousand words and, with the Internet, we have access to almost limitless numbers of images. However, knowing how, if and when an image can be legally used in your project can be dicey. It’s even trickier for educators who have the responsibility of educating students about copyright and responsible digital citizenship.

Of course, there are legally free images available through Creative Commons and in the public domain but quality can be variable and, like the song says, you can’t always get what you want.

The solution? Create your own images!

Okay I hear you… you can’t afford hundreds of dollars of software, the steep learning curve this software often requires and you might think you’re not artistic.

Have you tried Google Drawings? It’s part of Google Drive / Google Apps for Education. It’s:

  • Free for GAFE and the general public (low cost subscription for Google Apps for Business)
  • Easy to use and learn

Okay, so you won’t become a graphic artist but you can start by creating simple silhouette illustrations you can use in your other Google Drive projects (or anywhere else for that matter). If you can Google a picture and click a mouse, you can create your own silhouette-style illustrations in Google Drawings. Full disclosure: the mouse clicking might take a little practise to get quick and accurate (you’ll know what I mean once you get started).

Not sure how to start? This video tutorial shows you how you can get started creating your own illustrations in Google Drawings even if you don’t have a single artistic bone in your body.

 

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More Google Classroom goodness – add a co-teacher

Yes, Google Classroom is a long way off becoming a fully featured LMS but Google keep adding amazing features that make is even more user (and teacher!) friendly. The latest one I found out about is adding another teacher as a co-teacher to your class in Google Classroom.

Below is a short video tutorial showing exactly how to do it. The steps are:

  • Login to Google Classroom
  • Select the class
  • Click on the ‘About’ link
  • Click on the ‘Invite teacher’ link on the left hand side of the screen
  • Select the person in your contacts you want to add as your co-teacher (must be in your Google Apps domain)
  • Confirm by clicking on ‘Invite’ in the dialogue box

Yet another reason to explore the possibilities of Google Classroom!

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Google Apps Tutorial: How to use slide master in Google Presentation

I’m a big fan of Microsoft PowerPoint. It has so many powerful features making it far more than the tool for mass boredom that it is usually (ab)used for. To be honest, Google Presentation is very basic in comparison. The great thing is, like many other Google tools, it is constantly evolving and improving.

In this tutorial, I show you how to use one of the most recently added features, slide masters, to quickly and easily liven up your Google Presentation.

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