Using Sketchup as a powerful learning tool
Sketchup offers a 3 dimensional learning environment that can aide students within integrated learning areas. Sketchup has been trialled within the classroom for a number lessons and it has become evident that this teaching tool fits within Inquiry Learning, English, mathematics, and Social Studies.
Further trials of Sketchup revealed an enhanced interest and motivation towards the areas of Mathematics and Social Studies. During the Inquiry Learning process Sketchup has been used to enhance and consolidate childrens’ learning about cultures.
The children were asked to consider the enduring question throughout the entire Inquiry Process: ‘ By looking at what other countries and cultures do, how are they different and similar to ours?’
The trial of utilising Sketchup with the students included five 12 year olds and two 9 year olds. Data collected after the activity was complete during discussions included student comments that ‘learning was fun, motivating and interesting’. Students wanted to learn more because they were using a tool that looked like they were ‘making a movie’.
Students were taught about foreign countries in a whole class teaching method, namely South Korea, China and New Zealand kiwiana. In order to promote learning within the classroom students were then directed to select a culture of choice for study.
The application has been used widely by classroom students to recreate the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Wall of China. Information was then inserted into the project and after using research processes.
Sketchup has been promoted by Google as a tool essential to learning in classrooms; however the promotion is more directed towards purchasing the Pro version.
Further trials should look towards using the Google Pro version for education and compare and contrast the differences between the freeware programme and the Pro package.
Labels: Google apps
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