Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lego's Build With Chrome Is Incredibly Simple, Incredibly Addictive

Check out buildwithchrome.com and make awesome stuff right within your Chrome browser. There is a lot to explore here but what I love about using it with my elementary students is that is an intuitive builder that doesn't bring in all of the distractions at the main Lego site does.

There are three basic sections and one can get lost for hours in each. The "Builder" section is just that, a 32x32 base plate and a big supply (They do run out) of 21 brick shapes in 10 colors . The "Build Academy" is a set of tutorial challenges hosted by characters from The Lego Movie that gradually build in difficulty and teach advanced techniques.Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.39.20 PM



My favorite part though is in the "Explore the World of Builds" feature where through the magic of Google Maps a user when signed into their G+ account can stake claim to and build on literally any corner of the Earth they would like. So far I have rebuilt the swimming pool I spent most Arizona summer days in, have started work on a football stadium and spent way too much time on a late Friday Night/Saturday Morning resurrecting the greatest off-campus house ever, The Asylum, on its former corner on  the Hillsdale College campus. Yes, that is an ugly yellow couch out in front along the sidewalk. Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.53.33 PM

I have been a big fan of the Minecraft in the Classroom movement and some of the great ways teachers have kids show learning on the building/gaming platform. There have always seemed to be a number of setup hassles I didn't feel like tackling like setting up a server and getting student accounts set up. For me, this is way easier. There is far more familiarity for kids and myself with Legos all you have to do is go find some area where no one has built and take it over to start building the castle from Hamlet or the Great Hall from Beowulf.  All builds have links and anyone who is exploring the builds can find you and your students' creations.

Build With Chrome also works on the mobile Chrome browser. Maybe I just have fat and stubby fingers but it is much more difficult than the computer version.

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