I have just come across this great LEGO creating software. This is free software that can be downloaded onto MAC or Windows machines. There is a PDF manual that can be saved from the website as well giving hints and tips about the tools available within the program.
This software would be great for doing some design tech work with your students. There are no instructions on how to build particular items so students could design and create their own models or bring in instructions from LEGO models they have at home and use these to build models within this program. It does take a little while to get used to the program but in half an hour with the use of the manual I created the car below, not brilliant I know but it demonstrates that in minimal time students could begin creating. The other positive is that most students are familiar with LEGO and the way it works so this should increase their ability to learn and understand the program.
The program allows you to take screen shots from any angle and save them to your computer. A great tool for students to present their completed model.
If you are interested in the program download it and have a play at home or if you have kids let them have a go and see what they think. If you would like to use it with your class I see no reason why we can’t convince ‘the school’ to put this program into one of the suites or onto the new laptops. Creativity, planning, design, building, working with a partner, presenting a product the possibilities for use in the classroom are wide ranging. On top of this I think the students would really enjoy using the program. My suggestion is that this program would be useful from Year 3/4 and up.
If you are looking to develop and broaden your pedagogy this program also offers the opportunity to explore a variety of methods including:
Use prior knowledge, collaborative, teacher modeling, student led, open ended task, goal setting, self paced, scaffolding, teacher feedback, skill transference, risk taking, share learning, , creative thinking, critical thinking, reflection, individual, group, explicit teaching of collaboration, explicit teaching of higher order thinking, authentic problem, multimedia, self evaluation, peer evaluation, explicit teaching of peer assessment, explicit teaching of self assessment, communication through practical, communication through art, communication through writing.