Our grade 8 students have just begun their Renaissance unit. Similar to last year students will be working through an examination of: (1) the conditions that allowed the Italian Renaissance to flourish, and (2) whether Calgary has those same conditions. While the project is starting in a similar manner to last year, this year the teachers are taking it a step further.
After completing the Renaissance unit last year, the grade 8 teachers created a survey asking the students for feedback on the project. Students reported they gathered a deep understanding of both the Italian Renaissance and new insights into their hometown. However, students also reported that they did not have an opportunity to act on or live out the understanding they had gained. They wanted an opportunity to apply the Renaissance conditions in some way.
With that in mind, the teachers this year are introducing a new component of the project.
Calgary has a small Island Park just outside of downtown (St. Patrick’s Island) that is currently being redesigned. The city has asked for design ideas and public input into how this space might be developed. Each of our four grade 8 classes are going to submit a design for this island, and their designs will attempt to embody the principles of the Renaissance into the development of the island.
We are planning on using Google Sketch-Up for students to create a model of their redesigned island. We are hoping to find a way that each of our four grade 8 classes can create one collaborative Google Sketch-Up model. One possible solution is to have students create their building designs as individual components which would then be compiled digitally at the end of the project.
We are wondering whether there is a way to structure a collaborative Google Sketch-Up document or even how to build a collaborative Google Earth file adding building designs from a variety of students.
Thanks for any help you can offer!