Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ATTN: Principal

After hearing about Google Sketchup in an education class, I wanted to find out more about it. Apparently, its a drawing software that allows you to create three dimensional models on your computer. After creation, you may save them, post them online, share them via youtube, use them in presentations, etc...

I downloaded the software and decided that I would begin my Sketchup work by building a wooden chair. This seemed simple enough for a novice like myself to tackle. I watched two short tutorial videos and then began a disgruntling journey into the world of Sketchup. Admittedly, I have little spatial sense, but to be honest, I totally didn't get it. I did manage to create some shapes, but I'm still trying to figure out what happened to my chair. I can see how this software would be super valuable for the engineer, city planner or architect. If I saw some actual lesson plans using sketchup, with some directions as to how to create the 3d objects, I might change my mind. At this point, though, after struggling with an hour and coming up with nothing, I would say that Sketchup is not a necessary teaching tool for our elementary school classrooms at this time. I feel like with geometry at least, and the study of shapes, etc... building a three dimensional shape with one's hands would be more meaningful and illustrative than using a computer. I'm sure Sketchup has uses in the classroom, but right now, I'm a little lost as to how to implement the software in a way that would benefit my students.

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