2D and 3D models can be powerful tools in the classroom for demonstrating concepts, developing understanding of how objects interact with systems, and reaching higher order thinking skills in Bloom's Taxonomy. Plus the new tools for creating digital 2D and 3D representations are just plain fun. In this class we will be exploring the use of Google's SketchUp program, Excel's 2D and 3D chart models, and looking at different data visualization techniques to help support 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and ICT literacy.


How might you use SketchUp in your classroom?
  • Build a 3D model of your school or classroom
  • Use SketchUp to visualize the math concepts you are teaching (volume, geometry, planes, etc.)
  • Create a 3D model of a building and then incorporate that model into Google Earth.
  • Have students build a model of their houses.
  • When studying architecture of the past, create a 3D model of an ancient building or site.
  • Demonstrate art concepts such as perspective, cutaways, and volume
  • Have students design an object, then export all objects into a single SketchUp file and animate for YouTube or TeacherTube
  • Download models from the 3D warehouse to use for supplemental course information (molecular structures)
  • Have students work in groups to design a new "green" building or school
  • Create buildings in SketchUp and submit to be placed into Google Earth using the Building Maker
  • Create a team and join the Google Model Your Town Competition Deadline March 1, 2010

SketchUp Resources
Create a chair in Sketchup
SketchUp User Guide
Google SketchUp YouTube Channel How to videos available from Google
Classroom 2.0: How other teachers are using SketchUp
Google 3D Warehouse
How to place a Sketchup model in Google Earth
SketchUp Lesson Plans

Italian Middle School Students Create a SketchUp animation for YouTube

How to Create an Animation in Sketchup

Project Spectrum students on the autism spectrum respond positively to Google Sketchup

2D& 3D Data Visualization
3D Surface Area graph in Excel
2D Animated Data Sets from GapMinder

Excel Data Chart Tutorials
Excel Graphic Organizer Templates

Other cool visualization tools:
Visual Thesaurus - see how words are mapped to synonyms
Computational Art by Mark Wattenburg
16 Awesome Data Visualization Tools

TouchGraph Photos Network Visualization app for Facebook

Create your own Data Maps on Many Eyes
"Peace" in Obama's Nobel Acceptance Speech