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Last March 2010, we have discussed several ways on using Google Sketchup to enhance geometric drawings as well as how to use it in classroom teaching. In this article, we will discuss more ideas on how to use Google Sketchup in teaching mathematics.
Although Google Sketchup is a drawing software, it can be very helpful to mathematics teachers especially in teaching three dimensional geometry. Using Sketchup, it is easy to demonstrate what do we mean by coplanar or non-coplanar as shown in Figure 1.
If you would like to enhance your geometric drawings, then Google Sketchup is one software that I would recommend. Google Sketchup is 3-dimensional modeling software designed for architects, engineers, filmmakers and game developers, and other related professionals (Wikipedia). It is now used to create models in Google Earth.
What makes Google Sketchup advantageous over other 3d software is that it is a lot easier to use. Some of the examples below are the figures I created after only watching several of their video tutorials.
Figure 1 shows the model in perspective showing symmetries of a right rectangular prism.
Figure 2 shows the painted cube problem my Introduction to the Concept of Functions post. In the diagram, a big cube is painted yellow and cut into smaller cubes. The problem is to investigate the number of painted faces.
Figure 3 shows different face styles of a cuboctahedron.
You may also want to read my post on Using Google Sketchup in Teaching Mathematics.