Newer edu.sketchup.com for schools provides seamless integration with Google Apps accounts. Lost some of the higher functionality (e.g. ability to completely edit "Materials", download animations) previous edu versions, but still a great product.
Because of the steep learning curve, SketchUp is best utilized in a standalone class or for projects of quite a long term nature.
How I Use It
I teach a 3D design and modeling class in which students follow a few tutorials to learn SketchUp basics. Halfway through the course students begin to create and 3D print some of their own creations to meet specified design criteria.