Featured Post

Ollie’s World

What it is: Earth Day is April 22nd, Ollie’s World is a fantastic place to begin the celebration early.  Here students will learn about the 4 R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink as they apply to the 5 action issues of waste, water, energy, air, and biodiversity.  The site is packed full of games, puzzles, information and projects.  Students can create web pages using a free (downloadable) version of WebEasy.  The information section has kid-friendly reading about the 4 R’s and 5 action issues.  In Ollie’s clubhouse, students can play games and work on puzzles.  Students can also watch the Mis-adventures of Ollie, 3 animated videos about Ollie and his friends, dealing with issues of sustainability (currently there is only 1 video available).  In the movie section, students can watch short flash movies about important environmental issues.  This site is loaded with information, games, and video. How to integrate Ollie’s World into the classroom: Ollie’s World is a nice introduction for students learning about their ecological footprint.  Starting out in info, students can read about the 4 R’s and how they apply to the 5 action issues.  Students can watch videos and play games that reinforce the lessons they are learning.  You can use the videos as discussion starters in your classroom.   Download WebEasy to your classroom computers where students can build a webpage about their new learning. Tips: Check out the educators section of Ollie’s World for professional development opportunities, lesson ideas, and project instructions. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Ollie’s World in your classroom.

Read More

Maxwell for Google SketchUp

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Art, Create, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Software | Posted on 21-11-2011

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

What it is:  If you aren’t familiar with Google SketchUp-you should probably start here and here.   SketchUp is an incredibly powerful, FREE 3D modeling software that lets your students create impressive 3D models.  Maxwell takes SketchUp to a WHOLE new level.  Maxwell for Google SketchUp brings students advanced rendering in an easy-to-use package for free.  The best part: Maxwell is fully integrated so that you don’t have to export or use an external application to render an image. Rendering happens in “real-time” so as your students are adjusting their SketchUp models, they can see the changes in Maxwell.  Maxwell is compatible with Windows and OSX!  With Maxwell students can create materials, set lights and cameras and render 3D scenes.  These are incredibly powerful tools…I cannot believe that they are free (I’m a little nervous to say that too loud in case they decide to change their minds!).

How to integrate Maxwell for Google SketchUp into the classroom: Maxwell takes student work in Google SketchUp and polishes it up to a professional level.  Truly, the results are akin to what the professionals turn out!  The SketchUp/Maxwell combination are wonderful for graphic art classes, math and geometry modeling, advertising lessons, engineering classes, architecture, science models, etc.

Don’t let the impressive results fool you, I’ve had 3rd grade students who made some amazing models using SketchUp.  I look forward to introducing them to the Maxwell plugin so that students can see their work come to life in ways that they couldn’t do before.

At Anastasis Academy, we have several students from 2nd through 8th grade who are extremely interested and passionate about architecture.  Google SketchUp is where I send them!  Students can plan, create and build.  Maxwell will allow them to visualize their creations in totally new ways.

I don’t understand why more schools don’t put these types of tools in the hands of students more often.  Exposing students to tools like this, gives them the opportunity to explore their passions and interests.  The tools are getting easier and easier to use and the number of tutorials is astonishing.  You (the teacher) don’t have to know how to use these tools inside and out, your job is to let your students know they exist, and help them find the resources to use them.  No excuses!

Tips: Using rendering tools teaches students about materials, light sources, shadows, etc.  Use Maxwell to teach students these science concepts!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Maxwell for Google SketchUp in  your classroom!

Comments (1)

Totally agree, Kelly. I hope more and more teachers embrace the role of guide on the side, as parents make it clear to the policy makers this is what they want for their kids. Maxwell sounds fascinating!

Write a comment

*