Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Google SketchUp Education Uses and Tutorials

One of the Google applications that I wish I had had more time to explore at the Google Teacher Academy is Google SketchUp. GTA Lead Learner Ken Shelton offered a short session about using SketchUp in education, but there is so much to learn that a full day might not have been enough time to explore it all. Fortunately, the companion website to Google SketchUp 7 For Dummies has a fantastic set of tutorial videos demonstrating the ins and outs of SketchUp. Select a chapter from the index here to find a video tutorial. Ken Shelton has also put together some tutorial resources and compiled a short list of educational applications for Google SketchUp.

If you need a general overview of Google SketchUp, watch the video below.

Applications for Education
The Google SketchUp for Dummies video tutorials could be great resources for anyone that would like to have students use SketchUp in their classrooms. The tutorial videos could be used to reinforce or supplement the instruction you give in your classroom.

Understanding Search Engines

Many students and adults do not understand how search engines rank results. Some of my students get to high school without understanding the differences between .edu, .gov, and .com web addresses. Students sometimes struggle to refine their search engine results. This video from Springfield College's Babson Library gives a good explanation of how search engines operate and how to refine search engine results.

365 Days in 30 Seconds

This year CNN iReport issued an interesting challenge to amateur video artists, sum-up your year in thirty seconds. The deadline for submissions has passed, but that doesn't mean you can't challenge your students to sum-up their year in a thirty second video. You could challenge students to create a summary of their personal lives or what they learned in school in 2009. Any of these free resources could be used by students to create videos about the year. The video below contains some of the contributions to CNN iReport's 365 Days in 30 Seconds challenge.

Update: The link to video creation tools that I originally posted was incorrect. It is fixed now. Thanks Gia.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Decade in Review from Newsweek
Year in Review Music Video
Waving Goodbye to 2009

Scitable Adds Content

In April I wrote a short post about Scitable. Since then Scitable has added some content that is worth noting. Scitable's networking options have increased since my original post in April. There are more users and more filters for finding experts and or other students to connect with. Scitable has also added some video animations to help explain difficult concepts. The video below shows the process of translation, in which the information encoded by mRNA is turned into protein.

Applications for Education
Scitable is designed for use by college students, but some of content could be used in some high school settings.