Where to start?

I am hoping for some guidance on the startup of a CAD class using Google Sketchup. I have ZERO knowledge of the Sketchup program and just found out I have to teach a high school class using this software. Where is the best place to start in learning for myself the program and where do I start with planning a course for high school? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

First, it hasn’t been Google SketchUp for about 9 or 10 years. Trimble owns SketchUp.

Which version of Sketchup will your students be using? There is SketchUp for Schools which is web based and will run on PC, Mac, and ChromeBook and there is Sketchup Pro which runs on PC and Mac. The user interfaces are different so figuring out early which version you’ll have them using would be a wise thing so you get used to the interface first.

After you sort that out, is SketchUp going to be part of an Industrial Arts course or some other course maybe in science? I have a couple of teachers who are learning SketchUp online from me to teach their students. One of them is a science teacher. He’s had the students model things like balsa airplanes which they then print out and use as patterns to cut out their own real airplanes. He’s currently got them modeling bridges that they will then use as a plan to create real model bridges that will be tested to destruction. Another teach has his students using SketchUp to design buildings for their Building Trades class. I’ve worked with a Geometry teacher who was using SketchUp as an aid in showing sort of real world applications of the principles she was teaching.

Maybe figure out what sorts of things you would have them model and work from there.

You could go through the Fundamentals at learn.sketchup.com to get a grip on the basics of working in SketchUp. There’s also a bunch of good videos on the SketchUp You Tube channel including the recent Square One series on the basic tools.

Hi! Thanks for the response. My students will be using Sketchup for Schools off their chromebooks. The class I am tasked to teach is CAD, which will be solely based on Google Sketchup. I am a history teacher normally and have been given the task of teaching this CAD class. So, right now, I don’t really have any idea of lessons or models that I want students to create. I will have 9th-12th graders.

OK. Teachers have to be flexible these days, don’t they?

CAD in general covers a very wide range of things. This could be fore manufacturing or construction. Metalwork or woodwork or 3D printing or…

Students seem to be able to pick up the software pretty quickly but then there are the details of things like projections and dimensioning. You could start with relatively simple 3D shapes and work into more complex shapes. Let me see if I can find some resources for you.

Probably want to drop the Google. :wink:

Hi again! I am actually in central MN! A one on one session would be AMAZING! My email is

Hi Allison, I’ll get in touch with you. You should edit your last post and remove your e-mail address. You put that in the public forum. Bots will be all over it.

I have a set of video lessons I can share for a class I taught to 9-12 graders if you would like.

You can see more in this post:

That would be awesome! What is the best way to find the videos?

I sent you a private message with a link and some explanation. I should probably just publish it as is at this point instead of thinking I’ll have the time to improve it any time soon.

Two things. The first is that I teach an online continuing ed course on SketchUp for teachers.

I have taught SketchUp in high school off and on during my CAD career since the @last days. After retiring in 2016, I slowly added project lessons taught by screencasts to a non-monetized YouTube channel. It’s not a soup to nuts curriculum and they don’t have the production value of a Marvel Comics movie, but the students seem to like doing them.

You are welcome to use those by sharing them with the kids and then do what most of us tech teachers do when learning something new, learn along with the kids :slight_smile: