Scoot & Doodle is an add-on feature that allows Google Hangout users to collaborate on a shared canvas. Individuals can launch the feature from the apps section of their Google Hangout or by going to the company’s web page and launching it. The app works within a Google Hangout session. As friends or colleagues are added to the session, they are asked if they want to join on the platform.
Once all the participants have joined the Hangout in the Scoot & Doodle app, the camera feeds move to the bottom of the page while a shared canvas that can be edited by anyone occupies the center of the screen. Basic drawing features including colors, brush sizes, stamps and talk bubbles are available. Groups can also upload images onto the canvas so that the group can give feedback or draw on top of it. There are also included starters, which are creative challenges that the group can take on and then use their shared challenges to meet.
Once the group has finished their session, any member of the chat can save their canvas in a digital portfolio on their hard drive. This image can then be used in other applications. Each canvas in the portfolio can be shared via Facebook, Google plus, twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, email, or through a unique url.
Teachers can use the tool to pre-load a Hangout with an image that prompts collaboration or discussion around a specific topic. Teachers can also ask students to create something collaboratively using the app. The company is currently working on ways to streamline implementing the tool in classrooms.
Currently, adding on the app to a Google Hangout is free. The company does charge for custom sticker packs.
Scoot & Doodle was launched in March 2012 by former journalists Christine Egy Rose and Patty Chang. Initially, they were trying to solve a personal problem - getting their young children to connect and interact with family members living far away. The goal was to enable families to play, create, and hang-out together on a shared canvas with built-in design activities and video chat. The company originally built its own face-to-face video chat platform for the web, but soon adapted it as an app for Google Hangouts.
Every month more than 50,000 unique learners from 160+ countries use Scoot & Doodle on Hangouts, racking up more than 1.5 million creation sessions. The product has earned top awards from the Common Sense Media, the Children’s Technology Review, and Parents Choice. To date, they have raised $2.25 million dollars in seed funds, which includes an investment from Pearson.
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