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The Joy of Drawings: Amazing Learning Activities With Google Drawings

Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 2C

Explore and create: Deep-dive Creation lab
Preregistration Required
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Technology Integration Specialist
Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium
Eric Curts is a veteran educator who currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist for the Stark County Educational Service Center in Ohio where he oversees Google for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as other technology integration initiatives. Eric is an authorized Google for Education Trainer and Innovator, and provides training to schools, organizations, and conferences across the country. Eric runs the award-winning blog where all of his edtech resources can be found, and is the author of the book "Control Alt Achieve: Rebooting Your Classroom with Creative Google Projects".

Session description

Google Drawings is an often overlooked but powerful tool in the Google suite. Learn the basics of how Drawings works, and explore dozens of practical examples for teaching, learning, creativity and communication, including graphic organizers, educational memes, green-screen activities, math manipulatives, desktop publishing, interactive digital posters, poetry and more.

Purpose & objective

Google Drawings is a powerful, but often overlooked, tool in the Google Drive suite. The purpose of this session is to give an overview of how to use Google Drawings, and then to dive deep into a wide range of practical applications for Google Drawings in teaching and learning.

Over the years I have created an extensive library of templates and trainings for Google Drawings covering many subject areas and grade levels. All of these resources can be accessed at:

In this session we will explore the uses listed below.

Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers - Students can use Drawings for graphic organizers in any subject for compare and contrast, analysis of ideas, pre-writing, classification, ordering a system, and more. I have developed over 40 free graphic organizer templates that teachers and students can use or adapt, or use for inspiration to create their own graphic organizers.

Google Drawings for Memes - Memes can be a fun and engaging way for students to show their understanding of a concept. Google Drawings is a great school-safe tool for creating and sharing educational memes.

Google Drawings for Interactive Images - Drawings can be used as a Google version of ThingLink to create interactive posters and infographics. Students can use Drawings to annotate an image with links that go out to additional resources, images, videos, and information about the topic being explored and explained.

Google Drawings for Background Removal Activities - With Drawings, students can literally put themselves into their learning with this fun activity. Students can take a photo of themselves, give it a transparent background with several tools, place themselves into other photos in Google Drawings, and use the drawing tools to add speech bubbles and more.

Google Drawings Photo Words - With Google Drawings students can create inventive "photo words" where images and text are merged together. This can be an engaging way to learn vocabulary, and represent concepts, people, places, and things.

Google Drawings for Art - With Google Drawings students can create exciting art projects such as self portraits and mosaic art. Students can add an image to their Drawing, then use the shape tools and polyline tool to make their own stylized version on top of the original picture.

Google Drawings for Math - Drawings can also provide fun and creative ways to address Math Common Core Standards with digital manipulatives. Topics include symmetry, angles, polygons, pictographs, line plots, area, fractions, algebra and more. I have created a wide range of Drawing templates and activities that can be used by teachers and students in math.

Google Drawings for Desktop Publishing - Drawings also lends itself well to desktop publishing with the ability to control the placement of text, images, and shapes. This can be used for students to create educational memes, greeting cards, brochures, posters, and more.

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The session will cover the following information. Note: live links to the resources referenced below can be accessed at

1) Overview of how to use the tools in Google Drawings (10 minutes)

2) Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers (10 minutes)

3) Google Drawings for Memes (10 minutes)

4) Google Drawings for Interactive Images (10 minutes)

5) Google Drawing for Background Removal Activities (10 minutes)

6) Google Drawings Photo Words (10 minutes)

7) Google Drawings for Art (10 minutes)

8) Google Drawings for Math (10 minutes)

9) Google Drawings for Desktop Publishing (10 minutes)

Throughout the session, participants will be encouraged to test out the wide variety of sample activities, as well as create their own Google Drawings using the techniques demonstrated.

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Supporting research

Google Drawings can be used for many teaching and learning activities. Several of the activities and approaches demonstrated in my session are listed as positive influences on student achievement in James Hattie's "Visible Learning" study including:
Creativity programs
Concept mapping
Deliberate practice
Writing programs
Technology in writing
Elaboration and organization
Mathematics programs

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Session specifications

Creativity & curation tools
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Attendees will need to have a Google account (personal or Google Workspace for Education) and a Windows laptop, Mac laptop, or Chromebook to fully participate in the session.
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.