Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5 Design Tools to Spark Imagination and Promote Creativity

One of my favorite things about working with students is their ability to routinely blow my mind. Amazing things happen when students are given the opportunity to use their imagination, and think outside the box with no fear of failure. Give your students access to the 5 tools below, and let them blow your mind! 

3D Modeling is a very difficult skill to learn. Believe me, I've spent many hours trying. That was until I discovered Tinkercad. Tinkercad is free platform from Autodesk that makes creating 3D models easy! You and your students can click on the "Learn" button at the top of the page to access great interactive tutorials. These tutorials are a step by step walk you through on how to create various designs. Once finished, Tinkercad allows you to download your creation for Minecraft, order a 3D Print, or upload it to Thingiverse. You also have the option to download your creation to 3D print.

Canva makes it easy for everyone to create like a professional graphic designer! Canva started out as web tool but recently has released their first app for the iPad. Using a drag and drop interface, you can select from a wide variety of templates with a library of over 1 million images. Canva recently introduced Design School. Design School has a large collection of design essential tutorials that guide you through the creation process. The Design School a blog with many helping posts, and a teaching materials section with lessons on different elements of graphic design. Teachers and students can use Canva to create newsletters, posters, social media posts, invitations to open house or parent/teacher conferences, presentations, and much more! I absolutely love this tool and the new app works amazing. 

Pixel Press - Floors

Pixel Press Floors allows students to draw their own video game without programming! Floors is just the first of a series of apps from Pixel Press with Quest and Tracks in development for 2015.  Pixel Press has worked hard to create lesson plans that correspond to the Design Thinking Process using Pixel Press Floors in what they call the Teacher Pack. To learn more about the development of the Teacher Pack and how Floors is being used in schools, check out their blog. You can also learn more from our interview with Pixel Press's Katie Burke.

Augmented reality allows us to experience education like never before. There are many great augmented reality application out there but designing and creating meaningful learning experiences is powerful. 4D Studio for Education has a simple drag and drop interface that allows educators and students to create augmented reality experiences with ease. You can publish your creation to the DAQRI app for others to experience with no extra confusing steps or actions required. The chapter system inside of 4D Studio for Education makes it easy to design interactive experiences with multiple layers of information. The best part...it's free for K-12 educators and students! Apply here and start creating a new dimension to learning! 

4D Studio Tutorial Video to help get you started!

Tinkerplay (Formerly Modio)
Modio has been acquired by Autodesk and renamed as Tinkerplay. According to the Modio website, this is the reason for the new name:
"You may be wondering why the name change? Well, Tinkercad is an incredible web app from Autodesk that allows you to create custom 3D parts and we will be working on making Tinkercad and Tinkerplay work closely together in the future. As a first step, we’ve added a number of Tinkerplay parts and connectors to Tinkercad so you can start to experiment with making your own parts. "
Tinkerplay gives you the ability to unleash your creativity and design 3D characters. Tinkerplay has a large built in library of shapes, textures,  and colors to design and personalize your character. Also included are character templates that walk you through you how to create. Full multi-touch support allows you to design and build with friends. You can modify and move each part and your finished creation can be exported to work with any desktop 3D printer.   

1 comment:

  1. Great list and fantastic website! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. If you get a chance, you may also want to try our app Morphi, a 3D modeling + printing app for the iPad and iPad mini (coming soon for Android). In Morphi, people of all ages and educational backgrounds can design 3D printable objects on the go using touch, without wifi or a mouse. www.morphiapp.com The app is evolving with more features and tools to come. Many thanks and looking forward to seeing more of your work! The Inventery (maker of Morphi app)