Don’t you love free? Free as in beer, this time. Google, makers of all things good, has announced they are giving away Sketch-Up pro licenses to states for K-12 schools. You know, the Pro license that runs $495 usually. Yeah, free in that case sounds good. So Google, who some (Oracle, Apple, Microsoft) would have you believe as evil, is giving the Pro licenses away. All you need to snag one is check this page (http://sites.google.com/site/sketchupprok12statewidegrant/how-to-sign-up) and see if your state signed up for it yet. About 30 did so far. Then they will give you the license, and you are on your way. With the focus on STEM, these tools definitely help engage students, so go out and get your license now!
We all should know that the most worthwhile activities for students are those that actively engage them in the higher level thinking activities on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Those where students create and analyze content. What better way to do this than actual tools where students can construct buildings and other three-dimensional objects. Google’s SketchUp program allows you to do just that, and, if you follow the link below, many states can now access the Professional version free! I assume that eventually all 50 states will offer this free. A huge giveaway from Google, especially with more and more ways to use Sketch Up. We just recently received our markers (a 3d block) to use with SMART Document cameras in their mixed reality mode. Think 3d glasses for a SMART camera. Cool!