Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Google Sketch-Up and the Classroom : How would you use it?

I was reading Boing Boing today and Mark Frauenfelder linked to a review of Google Sketch For Dummies by Aidan Chopra and I thought I should write about the Google Sketch-Up club.

The image on the left is one of the first buildings on our students created using Sketch-Up. He is a lot more skilled at using it than I am and the things he creates get more and more incredible over time. So, this is just to give you some idea of what the students are doing with it.

Currently, it is only a club but a couple of weeks ago one of our teachers approached me about using Google Sketch-Up in conjunction with Google Earth for a class project. I thought it was a great idea, I just was not sure how to implement it. However, I was impressed last club meeting when one student decided to try to re-create the Step Pyramid of Djoser.

However, currently, some of the students simply use Google Sketch-Up as a fun "game." They build things like snowmen, draw it in or just create really fantastic buildings. However, some students take it all very seriously and are have created some amazing cities. They have utilized the "warehouse" and download people, buildings, cars and whatever else is available. It is extremely time-consuming for more elaborate projects but I think for say a project on Ancient Civilizations, students could include a sketch-up model in a slide show or other type of presentation.

Another point of interest is that a lot of girls are using Google sketch-up. Normally, boys are the only ones interested in trying these things out but it has been great seeing more girls creating buildings or other things in the lab.

It would be interesting to see if we could get some visitors in to talk to students about architecture and 3D rendering.

I am not sure how else we could use Google Sketch-Up but if anyone out there has any thoughts or have used it already, I would be interested in hearing what has or will be done.

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