December 8, 2016
How to Create Interactive Google Drawings
Google Drawings, available in G Suite for Education, offers a wide range of possibilities for student creation. Though often overlooked in favor of the core G Suite apps like Docs, Slides and Sheets, Google Drawings offers a wide range of opportunities for all curricula. From Kindergarten through high school, endless possibilities exist, limited only by the imagination of teachers and students. It is with that in mind that we will explore one of those potentials — creating interactive Google Drawings. Interactive images allow students to incorporate many different media into one static image. The secret to creating these interactive images involves the ability to attach links to outside content and embed those links within the image itself making the drawing “clickable”. For example, students can lay a static image of a Venn Diagram onto a Google Drawing canvas. Now, instead of simply writing a few sentences about each topic, students can expand on those thoughts by inserting links to other documents, videos, articles, etc. directly on top of the Venn Diagram. Imagine your students hyperlinking a video or audio argument they make in favor of entering into WWI and then creating the alternate viewpoint in another video and linking it on the other side. Follow this link for an example: WWI Entry Venn Diagram Example. While copying and pasting a link into a text box in a Google Drawing works, there is a cleaner and more efficient way of accomplishing the task: using inserted objects. These objects can include lines, shapes, or images inserted into the Drawing. When a student adds one of these objects onto a Drawing canvas, that object can then be hyperlinked to other existing web content. When a user clicks, they launch that new content to learn more. Here is the process for creating interactive Google Drawings:
- Insert an object (shape, image, line, or arrow) by selecting “Insert” from the toolbar, and making a selection from the dropdown menu.
- While the object is highlighted, select the Link icon from the toolbar (the keyboard shortcut is cmd-k or ctrl-k). You can also right-click on the object, and select Link from the menu.
- A small window will appear with a space to paste a link. After you paste the link, click Apply.
- That’s it. Now the student, or any viewer, can click on the shape and be taken to the linked website.