How I Use It
My second graders begin using tinkercad to build desk organizers. This is their introduction to designing in 3D. While the tool has a ton of features, it is intuitive enough for young learners to engage with. We review our measurement skills and make connections to the math classroom as we talk about scale and size. We are able to easily export the files for 3d printing. When students are older and have access to their school emails they eagerly set up TinkerCad accounts to continue building for class projects and just for fun. There are a ton of pre-built items that could use some more tutorials, but as it stands this is a great tool to begin with CAD and leaves lots of room for students to grow and improve.
My kids have an overwhelmingly favorable response to this tool. The menus are clear and easy to use. This is terrific for a technology lab, math or science classroom, or a design space. Really any teacher that wants students to design something should have this at the ready. The potential for collaboration is awesome. So far we've only had pairs of students work on the same build, but I bet other educators would get a lot out of this feature. It's pretty much like doing CAD in a shared document in GoogleDrive (except with way better looking menus!).