I frequently ask teachers what skills or topics I can cover with their students, but I don’t often get a lot of feedback. But, a couple of weeks ago a 4th grade teacher did respond that she needed a digital way for the students to create a ecosystem diagram. She mentioned that they had worked with Google Docs. I started looking at Google Drive and spotted Google Draw. I played around with it, created a drawing and shared it with the teacher and she liked it. So I started planning on how to teach the students to use it.
Our students have Google Accounts created for them as part of our 1:1 roll out. That is in theory! There were problems with a few accounts that I have to have technology work on, but on the whole it went well. The teacher that asked me to find the digital product is piloting Google Drive in her classroom for that grade level, so all of her students had already signed into Google Drive-not so for the other 3 classrooms. That process took 20 plus minutes, which I found out trying to do it in the library.
I had planned on having the students sign in to Google and then go onto working on a Google Draw document, but it took so long for the students to sign in that I decided to go into the other two classrooms before their scheduled library visit. This worked out more smoothly, as we had only a few problems with students signing in when they came into the library later in the day.
Created Google Draw
I created a Google Draw document with 3 simple tasks (type in names of the group, include one fact from the online encyclopedia, find an image and put it in the document). I made copies of the document so that there were enough separate documents that groups of 3 students would be working on a single Draw and it wouldn’t be overwhelming with too many students. I also shortened the URL for each document and wrote it out on index cards and gave to each small group (3 students).
I learned something along with the students. The 3rd class I worked with had a few “aha” moments. One student was a little upset that after he closed out and then went back to Google Drive, he didn’t see the document. But after I reminded him that I had shared the document with them, he figured out to look under “Shared with Me”. We “shared” that bit with the rest of the class.
It was fun to see how excited some of the students were , though some were less excited after I told them to stop using the “Comment” feature as a text messaging app!