Sunday, February 14, 2016

Exciting Projects at SES, Part II: Build with Chrome and Google Earth

A few weeks ago, I tried a project with second graders that I've been wanting to try for awhile now.  I started by introducing students to Build with Chrome, a website and collaboration between Google and LEGO that allows you to play with LEGOs on the computer.  It's awesome.  Students started by engaging in the "Build Academy," which taught them how to do almost everything in the program, including picking up an dropping pieces, deleting pieces, changing colors, and adjusting camera angles and zoom.  After that, I gave students some time to build some things on their own, and saw some pretty impressive results, including the beginnings of a hotel/rollercoaster ride, which really, why has nobody thought of this before?

When we had our fill of free-building, I then introduced them to Google Earth, a program where you can access satellite imagery, street views, and user-generated content from around the world.  Students learned how to zoom in and out, pan, and most importantly, search.  Students searched for Maine, Searsport, Stockton Springs, and where they lived.  I then had students choose a building that they could find within the district to make a model of in Build with Chrome.  Some students chose public buildings and businesses like Tozier's Market or the Masonic Hall, while others chose their house.  Students learned how to multitask and switch between windows on their computer using the Command + Tab keyboard shortcut, so they could look at their building first, then switch windows and build in the other.  While we didn't get to the stage of publishing buildings and making them available for viewing in the Google Maps integrating in Build with Chrome, I learned a lot about what is needed to make this project work in the future, and I'm looking forward to doing it again!

No comments:

Post a Comment