Friday, November 23, 2018

Drag and drop with Google Draw and Slides

This morning, as I was looking over my upcoming lessons on analyzing webs I found out that the app I used to create drag and drop assignments is no more. Since before we get deeper into what happens in a food web when the population of an organism decreases or increases I need to be sure that my students are able to track the different food chains within a web, and we have been struggling with what is known in my classroom as "the arrows mean something", this was not a step I was willing to simply forgo. So I turned to the trusty internet for something already made. As I was inputting different search parameters I stumbled upon Matt Miller's "Creating moveable digital activities with Google Drawings + Slides". I watched the first part and, being a Google Drawing fan I went ahead and created my drawing, stacking multiples of the same text boxes as needed by simply copy/pasting them on top of each other and placing them as a stack on top of an "empty" box.

I felt rather pleased with myself and called my daughter to try it out. Dutifully she did, and immediately two super important things became evident:

1. I needed to be able to lock the background
After another round of searching and watching Matt's whole video, I found out that while you cannot lock the background on Google Drawing, you can set an image as a background on Google Slides. 
2. I also needed to be able to "lock" the text the students were dragging so they could not modify it accidentally.
Instead of adding them as text boxes, I created the text and used the snipping tool to create them as images. While they can still be deleted as a "block" the content cannot be modified.
I am sharing the student template to give you an idea of what you can do.

I then started thinking, what else could we do with this? I love the idea of the drag and drop but also wanted this to be a little more challenging. Inspiration struck as I moved on to a different grade level, where I decided that students could use the traditional labeling assignment as a drag and drop that leads to a presentation. Using the same technique as before, but adding links to blank slides students could do more than just a simple labeling assignment.

For example, in this assignment where students will be asked to label a plant and an animal cell and use that as a springboard to create a presentation detailing organelle functions.

What do you think? What other uses of the drag and drop do you see yourself creating?