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# Google SketchUp Math and 21st Century Critical Thinking

This is simply a copy of my Blog entry inSwords Edgucation and Tech.

Each time I reach geometry standards in the math curriculum, I find myself trying to make geometry problems more meaningful and interesting. With Google Sketch-up, meaningful instruction has a new solution, providing relevance and more intrigue to geometry standards across the K-12 learning standards.

What is it?

Google SketchUp is a 3-D editing tool that can be used to design… basically anything you can see the real world and beyond. The original use was to design a better Google Earth, but has shown promise amongst architectural circles, liberal Arts, and industrial manufacturing and design. The site contains an in-depth overview of the software, a community of users to chat with and learn from, tutorial videos for most any need in Google SketchUp, and a blog featuring new innovations and exciting ideas to try in SketchUp across ability levels.

Edgucation Application

You don’t need a degree in architectural drawing to use SketchUp in the classroom, as there is a quick learning curve and tutorials to help you in the basics of the software. However, the more you get into it, there is some homework involved. Here's a video about the potential of SketchUp in K-12 classrooms.

Use Models to find dimensions- If you are not comfortable with creating objects in SketchUp, there is the 3D Warehouse where you can download any building, room design, and lawnchair to use for finding dimensions.

Area, Perimeter, and Volume concepts- Download a living room and create story problems for students to solve based on the dimensions in the room. Or you can have students create problems for their classmates to solve in a blog or wiki. Here is an example wiki that houses different lessons to work on in the classroom using SketchUp called, Enriching Math.

Trigonometry- Ever wonder why the proofs in trigonometry work? Have students create triagles and predict the lengths and angles using trigonometry formulas. Prove concepts in class.

Technology Education- Students design a room based on a blueprint they create in the classroom. Design objects in Sketch-up and allow students to find missing angles and measurements. Many architectural colleges and IT schools are changing out Auto CAD programs for Google SketchUp Pro for their software simulations and needs. Here's a link to pictures of Google Earth Uses in the workplace.

The Verdict-

Ease of use:    6  Teachers, look to beginner videos, but practice is suggested before use.

Versatility:     5   Math/ Science applications abound. Other facets of curriculum are a stretch.

Engaging:      9   Student~ "This is like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater in the Classroom!" Students could not get enough

of creating new objects for their culminating project.

Overall:        7  Google SketchUp has many models to download, blogs to read about, videos to use in classroom introduction and lessons, and a friendly user interface. The learning curve is a continual rise as you use SketchUp more and more. The applications of Google SketchUp,are relevant, promote critical thinking and problem solving skills, and usable in today’s workplace.

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