A colleague of mine has been using this since last year, although I hadn’t had more than a 2 minute look to see what all the fuss was about.
Today, with the collapse of my Lego CAD lesson plan (more on that later), I improvised a quick intro to Sketchup after a quick brief from said colleague.
An hour later and I had a group of particularly unmotivated Y9 students designing lawns, hedge mazes, swimming pools – one student even recreated the mansion from GTA:Vice City (complete with helipad, helicopter and a garage with a motorbike inside)!
You could also run competitions to draw real buildings and they can be published to GoogleEarth.
It’s incredibly easy to create models quickly and simply – and of course it’s both free to download and cross-platform!