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Maxwell for Google SketchUp

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!

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Museum Box

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, History, inspiration, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 06-01-2009

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What it is:    Museum Box is a website that I heard about through a tweet on Twitter a few weeks ago that is really impressing me today (that is saying a lot since today is MacWorld and they are announcing big things!).  Museum Box is based on the work of Thomas Clarkson who collected items in a box to help him in his argument for the abolition of slavery.  He collected items in a box to demonstrate to others the fine craftsmanship and abilities of the African culture.  He used his box as a sort of travelling museum to aid him in his debate.  The Museum Box website provides a place for students to collect information and arguments in a virtual museum box of their own.  They can collect items to provide a description or add to an argument of a historical event, place, or time period.  Students can add images, text, sounds, video, external links, etc. to each compartment of the box helping them form their own virtual museum.  The Museum Box can be shared as a presentation, saved, or printed.  After a box has been created, students can view one anothers boxes and leave comments about the box.  You really have to check this one out!  So neat for history and literature classes!

 

How to integrate Museum Box into the classroom:  Use Museum Box as a medium for students to learn about and collect information about a historical event, person, or time period.  Because students can upload their own content to Museum Box, you might also have them create a box all about them.  This would be a great way for students to get to know each other at the beginning of the year.  Museum box is a neat way to share information about geography, students can make a box all about a place including items in their box that are unique to that place.  The ability to incorporate text, sounds, images, video, and uploaded items makes Museum Box especially impressive!  After students have created boxes, spend time viewing other’s boxes and leaving comments about the box.  This is kind of like a science fair atmosphere for history, geography, and literature.   Yet another tool I wish I had in school!

 

Tips:  Introduce Museum Box to your students by learning about Thomas Clarkson, he is a very interesting historical figure that I had never heard of!

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Museum Box in your classroom.

Comments (1)

Hi Kelly,
Just wanted you to know that I recommended this website to a few teachers after seeing it here and they flipped over it! One is going to use it immediately as the wrap-up activity for a WWI project her class is just finishing and several others are collaborating on a unit about a BC gold rush town called Barkerville. In addition, another teacher just finished a unit on Underground to Canada and another just finished up a wiki on To Kill a Mockingbird, so Clarkson’s story and box will make a nice addition to their units. Thanks so much for posting these excellent resources. You might not always hear from us, but I assure you we’re very appreciative of all your great, practical ideas.
Mallory

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