19 August 2016

Google Drawing for Interpretation

I want students to be able to show me what they understand, and I want it to look nice when they do. So I've been putting the text on a Google Drawing and having them add their interpretations straight onto it.

Why Google Drawing?

For one Docs won't let me use textboxes. *insert pouty face* However as my amiga pointed out on my first day collage assignment, Slides, too, will allow you to use textboxes and insert images and move stuff around. I can also add comments to textboxes on both (though not individual words like Docs *more pouty face*). So really, it would work fine, too.

I do, however, prefer Drawing for a few reasons:
  1. I can adjust the size of the background to accommodate different infographs.
  2. It's just one "palette" to keep attention focused in one place.
  3. The end result is downloadable as an image and therefore potentially easier to embed come portfolio time.
I don't plan on using this approach for my online Spanish III class because hopefully they will know too much for this to work. Of course I'll be assigning more text-heavy readings for them, so that means less room for spreading out textboxes, plus if they can figure out (or attempt) as much as I hope they can, then the whole thing would be covered and impossible for me to read and compare. (For upper levels, keep an eye out for a post on Thinglink for Interpretation!)

How does it work?

So I find an infograph I want to use and copy it into a Google Drawing. If I want to get some of a blog post in, I might screenshot it instead of just copying the image. I add a link to the original on the image, too, for citation purposes, although a lot of smart people put their URLs in their images for you now. I then create a textbox and draw an arrow (of course I had to color coordinate with the infograph), and then use CTRL+D (duplicate). A lot.

I did go ahead and make one of the textboxes an example, too.

Then I create an assignment in Google Classroom and attach the Drawing, making sure to click "Make a copy for each student." I give them these instructions:
1. Open the copy of the Google Drawing provided.2. Pick out a segment you think you can understand and move a textbox and arrow to align with that segment.3. Write in English what you think that segment means.4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with as many segments from the infograph as you can.5. Delete any unneeded textboxes and arrows.
And then they fill it up! One student's looked like this:

This is one of my shining examples, of course. Some students opted to focus on what was really already English--I suspect they spent less than 5 minutes on it. Therefore, in the future I'll be sure to set aside class time where 1) they get a clear idea of how much time I expect them to use interpreting/guessing and 2) I can peek over shoulders to cheer them on.

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