Zoom +  =

4 Squares on Zoom using Google Drawings

In a Google Drawing that is divided into four quadrants, have participants respond to a series of prompts through writing, drawing, listing keywords, etc. Give them enough time to complete all the prompts. State your intentions for sharing before they start.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Explain that you’re going to be asking everyone to individually (and silently) complete a series of prompts in a Google Drawing. The prompts will be in the template, and they’ll have about 5 minutes to work through them.
  2. Optional: if you’re going to be collecting these drawings, having them share them in the chat, or doing anything else with them (beyond them being prompts for reflection), explain that now.
  3. Check in for questions or clarifications.
  4. Share the /copy link to a Google Drawing template in the chat.
  5. Set a timer for 5 minutes, giving a 1 minute warning. Optionally, let people know they can signal to you that they’re finished by raising their hand (or doing something else in Zoom).
  6. When the time is up, ask everyone to stop wherever they are.

Prep

Create a template with four squares and prompts at the top of each square in Google Drawings. Have a /copy link ready to copy-paste. All participants will need to have a Google account to use Drawings. If this can’t be guaranteed, have the prompts ready to copy-paste into the chat as a backup, and ask the non-Google participants to create their own 4 Square on a different app or with paper and pen.

Context

Google Drawings is a rudimentary combination of Slides and Docs, with a little MS Paint folded in. This allows for you to easily mix up the medium for each prompt, and that will result in a better 4 Square experience. You can prompt participants to respond by drawing, freewriting, keywords, bulleted lists, image collage, and more.

Including short instructions for using the app alongside the prompt will help newer users (e.g., “To draw, click the dropdown arrow next to the line and select ‘Scribble.’”).

For sharing, your participants can easily save their creation as a broadly useful image format like .PNG. You can also just ask them to create a Share link (“Click the blue Share button up top, then under Get Link click ‘copy link.’”).

Substituting Apps

If you're using apps other than Zoom and Google Drawings, here are the specific things your software will need to be able to do:

Google Drawings allows for basic digital drawing, text composition, and image placement on a virtual canvas.

Additional Resources

Reusable Template:

Author

Author HeadshotAustin, TX

Activity by Sam Killermann

Co-developer of Facilitator Cards and co-author of Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation. Longtime facilitator of gender/sexuality education.

Facilitation Testers Needed

This activity by Sam Killermann would really benefit from other facilitators testing it, tweaking it, and reporting back. If you give it a try in your virtual facilitation, all we ask is that you tell us how it went.

The main things we're wondering are regarding the context you facilitated it in (with whom, and toward what goal), how well it worked (what worked and what didn't), and in what ways you altered the instructions to make it work for you.