Amanda Clifford on using IsoSketch at Chancellor’s School, Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire:

I had seen the ‘IsoSketch’ tools on Facebook & Twitter and was really interested in how my students would use them. I decided to initially introduce it to my year 10 Graphics class who are a group of students with a very mixed range of abilities. The students had already been introduced to crating and isometric in year 9, and we were now working on the ‘Architectural Project’. They had already created some basic 2 dimensional ideas and had recently produced Google Sketch Up models of their proposed design. This had helped them to visualise their ideas in more detail and to get a variety of 3D views.
I taught a focused practical task to recap on crating and to introduce the ‘IsoSketch’, at the beginning of the lesson, students were asked how confident they felt using the crating method to help them draw, and most said that they knew what it was but were not confident and needed help.

During the lesson I used a variety of teaching strategies to ensure that all learners were  upported, videos were used and the students were encouraged to ‘have a go’ with the idea of ‘practice makes perfect!’ The students were urged to try different methods of producing 3D drawings using the crating method – free hand, set squares and the exciting ‘IsoSketch’ tool.

During the lesson, the students were motivated and enthused about using the ‘IsoSketch’ and they quickly got the hang of using the tool. Their drawings were far neater and more professional looking and they were quickly and easily able to produce a range of 3D drawings.

In the next lesson I asked the class again how confident they felt using the crating method, nearly all the students felt more secure in their own drawing ability. The students then went onto draw a room for their proposed Architecture idea in isometric, using their choice of drawing method – the ‘IsoSketch’ was used by most students as they felt it gave them a better quality & precise looking drawing.

When the IsoSketches were used as a drawing aid in Product Design, they proved to be a great success, especially with students who needed more help with 
3D drawing.

Students quickly grasped the hang of using them and they especially liked the fact that they could quickly turn their 2D ideas into a 3D reality!

As a teacher of Product Design & Graphic Products I probably feel that the IsoSketches have better outcomes and are more suited to the PD students as they are designing products with a more ‘physical structure’. I also feel that it was useful as a starting point to encourage the students to become more confident in their own ability, however students who already were competent in the traditional method of using a 30/60 setsquare and a drawing board did become a little confused with using the tool.
This said we have at present 11 of the IsoSketches and want to increase the amount in the future to a whole class set to encourage independence and confidence in the students drawing skills.

Zain – ‘They are awesome, the IsoSketch helped me to develop my graphic drawing skills’
Molly – ‘You can draw accurate angles with them’
Lucy – ‘I now feel more confident drawing in 3D!’
Alex – ‘You are able to easily make curved edges & lines in isometric’