Last year, 2010-11, I stumbled upon Google Sketchup, which I promptly shared with Allendale Columbia Middle School art teacher, Amy Bonner. She immediately put it to use with her Seventh Grade students. Students took turns using the 5 iMac computers in the art room to build an interior or an exterior using Sketchup.
Fast forward to the 2011-12 school year. The Google Sketchup assignment has evolved. This year the assignment is delivered using Edmodo. All students can work simultaneously in our new state of the art Digital Art Lab, featuring 13 brand new 27” iMac computers. Students work through a series of self-paced tutorials provided by Google. The three self-paced tutorials can be downloaded here. Here is Amy Bonner to describe the assignment:
When they finish the tutorials they have an interdisciplinary assignment linking geography, climate, architecture, and design to complete. They begin the assignment by looking at this presentation of Unusual Buildings.
This helps spark their interest in architecture and show them that anything is possible. They then choose a location outside of the US that they would like to research. They will use Google Street View, Google Earth, and Google Advanced Search over the course of the unit, to study their city and create the best design for their specific location.
Last week, Amy asked me if I wanted to stop up to visit as her students worked on there Sketchup projects. So, I stopped up with with my trusty Kodak Playfull video camera to get some students in action in the lab. I saw excited, engaged, focused students. The class was working independently but also collaboratively, as they helped each other when confused about using the many tools available in Sketchup.
See for yourself…