Back to School: A Recap of Updates for Teachers (2020)

At Tinkercad, hardly a month goes by where we don’t have some update or new feature to share with our educator community. Understandably, it’s difficult to keep up with all the announcements (especially with everything going on in the world).

With the new school year now underway, it feels like the right time for a quick review of some of the recent additions to Tinkercad over the past year that teachers may find useful. 

Tinkercad Lesson Plans

Launched just a few weeks ago, this entirely new section of Tinkercad is dedicated to providing free, standards-aligned lesson plans for teachers using Tinkercad with their students. Each of the nine lesson plans currently available are suitable for remote learning with middle school-aged students. You can learn more about Tinkercad Lesson Plans in our full blog post.

Updates to Tinkercad Classrooms

Introduced in August of last year, Tinkercad Classrooms is our tool for helping teachers streamline the Tinkercad sign-on process for students. With it, students can log in to Tinkercad quickly with a class code and nickname that you provide them. Once they’re up and running, the teacher dashboard within Tinkercad provides you with more control and visibility of your students’ activity in Tinkercad. 

Since the launch of Tinkercad Classrooms, we’ve rolled out two notable updates. The first was the addition of classroom links. Instead of requiring students to keep track of both a class code and their unique nickname, the classroom link bypasses the need to type in the class code, simplifying the sign-on process. You can learn more in our full blog post.

More recently, we added a Class Gallery to Tinkercad Classrooms. Now, teachers can browse through a gallery that collects all of their students’ designs on a single page for quick review. 

CodeBlocks Sharing

Tinkercad’s CodeBlocks editor has quickly become a beloved tool for teaching students the power of code and computational thinking. Unlike other educational coding platforms, CodeBlocks is rooted in 3D design, allowing students to turn abstract code concepts into objects they can visualize and interact with.

When we first launched CodeBlocks in 2018, the editor offered limited options for sharing your creations. Today, not only can you export your designs as an STL, OBJ, SVG, or Part file, but you can also make your design publicly shareable just like any other Tinkercad design.

When you share public CodeBlocks design with your students, not only can they see and play your design, but they can view and copy the entirety of your code and make use of it in their own creations. You can learn more about sharing CodeBlocks designs in this blog post.

CodeBlocks Activities

While we’re on the subject of CodeBlocks we should also point out that there are many free instructional activities built for CodeBlocks in the past year. Most notably, we’ve added a selection of interactive activities to the launcher menu that greets students when they launch the CodeBlocks editor.

Additionally, the Tinkercad for Education team created four Hour of Code lesson plans on Instructables that leverage CodeBlocks to create shapes with code.

Tinkercad’s iPad App

One of the keys to Tinkercad’s popularity is its ability to run on just about any computer in your classroom. If it has a web browser, chances are that it can run

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