Our tech project was about Google Docs, and we taught you how to share and create a document. Making the presentation was filled with difficulties, and as soon as one was solved, another would pop up. Our first problem was figuring out how to film it. I thought that Quicktime Player wouldn’t be the full version, but fortunately I was wrong. The next was making the script. This quickly got finished, but then we realized it wasn’t complete. There wasn’t a beginning or ending. Having three people working on one idea was very hard. I would think of one sentence, while someone else would think of something else to put in at the same time. Right as we finished it, the bell rang ending the period. Josh wouldn’t be to record because he had made it into the state championships for the geographic bee (he did well with 5/8 questions right). I am surprised that Sam actually could read it when we recorded without mentioning his hero, a time traveling snail, in fact, he did very well. With the time ticking away, we went into the two computer labs, only to find them full with French students in study hall. The fifth grade pod was full. Our last resort was the classroom, which was very loud with the other students screaming as the teacher played their finished projects. We finally finished the project only seconds before the bell rang. We were a little off, but it was still good.
Sketchup is an architectural application that you can download for free from the internet. If you would like, you can spend the $500 on the sketchup pro, which I only suggest if you are an architect. In the plain sketchup, as of Sketchup 8, you can create just about any building you would like. You can use a circle, square, rectangle, or create your own shape. You can use a height tool to make a block.
At the start, you choose a template, and then you begin. You can choose from a plain architecture with feet and inches, or do another with meters. Once you begin, there will be a person, so that you can scale your creations. If you delete that person, you can just use the ruler tool to find out the dimensions. I won’t show you one of my creations, but below is a picture from flickrcc about a creation.
Cross posted at http://528tech.edublogs.org/
Those of you who have been reading this blog since the iPad was announced have read my posts about the issues with using Google Apps for Education on an iOS device. Sure you could sort of use them if you were willing to do equal parts troubleshooting and lowered expectations. I have tried various apps that purport to be the best with being able to connect to our Google Apps for Education accounts to create, edit, share and use without limitations or at least few limitations. Most of the apps come close but when any number of students report having lost work, I believe the system is not a true system. Granted in baseball, .400 is a good average, but if you only have 40% of the work you did, you would agree it is not a system.
Because of this issue, I have been concerned about what we would loose from our normal educational routine if our school adopted iPads for students over laptops since there is virtually no issues with Google Apps for Education from a non-mobile computer. While I am still not sure what is the best device, I have been able to solve the main issue with creating, editing, and sharing Google Apps on an iOS device. I used the new Google Search app and clicked on Applications to select Documents. Once I did this, I could do in iOS what I can also do on a non-iOS device. The only caveat yet to overcome is that when the document is shared with another user they can not see who has shared it with them. Until that is resolved, yes I am talking to you Google, students or teachers may need to add their first name to the title of the document.
If you have yet to update to the new Google Search App, [iTunes Link] do so now as it is really slick with other features as well.