It’s almost the end of the school year. Things are crazy, but at the same time, they can be a bit stale. Especially, after testing has come and gone, students often see that milestone as a sign to check out. Looking to continue to engage your students right down to the end? Give stop-action movies a try!
For the next few weeks, a handful of teachers and myself are exploring what SAM Animation has to offer. This software developed at Tufts University is very user-friendly. It comes as a demo or pay for a full download. The demo works well enough to capture images with your built-in or external cameras , and then add narration or audio. The movies can be exported as QuickTime or other file formats for various mobile devices and destinations. (Tip: in the demo version, to find these other options, use the File- Export Menu.)
Stop-action movies lend themselves beautifully to science topics due to the time lapse capabilities that allow a very slow process (such as plant growth) to be observed at a faster rate. However, science is not the only subject that can harness the power. Check out the many examples here. (And stay tuned for a future post that displays the teacher created examples that we are going to develop as a part of our May challenge.)
What I REALLY like:
SAM Animation was developed with the understanding that the technology should not get in the way of the content. The content should be front and center. (Read about how animation is good for the classroom in their white paper.) It’s a true integration tool that is easy to use, and the concept of stop-action movies really makes students think. Students have to plan how they will break concepts and actions down in meaningful chunks to in turn build a coherent message that demonstrates understanding. Plus, it’s tactile, hands-on and fun!
Your thoughts and experiences with animation and stop-action movies are welcome!