Web-based Concept Mapping Tools (part II): Google Drawing

Google Drawing

Just a few weeks ago, we posted a blog on how to use concept maps for learning and recommended several web-based applications for use (some for free, some not!).  Well, as with many Web 2.0 technologies, new tools are developed with increasing speed and there is a new kid on the block (or should we say “blog”?).

Among other recent improvements to Google Docs, one can now create a Google Drawing (e.g., flow charts, diagrams, sketched, and other types of drawings) in the similar collaborative fashion as with other well-known Google products, such as Google Docs, Google Presentations, or Google Spreadsheets. Users familiar with Google Docs will find the interface intuitive and user-friendly. A decent selection of prefabricated shapes, such as arrows and flowchart symbols, and the ability to quickly import images from your computer or the web has anyone creating drawings in no time. In addition, MS Word-like formatting features allow for customization (e.g., colors, lines, shapes) and won’t be holding back anyone’s creativity.

While drawing, one can also chat with other editors within the same Google Drawing offering the opportunities for web-based collaboration, such as brainstorming sessions, independent of the actual physical location of each user.

Once completed, drawings can be printed, incorporated in other Google Docs (although they won’t be editable anymore), or downloaded in various popular file formats (jpg, svg, png, pdf).

Considering the proverb that “a picture paints a thousand words”, one can only imaging the thousand applications of Google Drawing in and outside the classroom.

For additional resources on Google Drawing including video tutorials, click to here. (Gmail account required!)

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