by Melissa Pickering of iCreate to Educate
In the world of education technology, it’s rare that a learning tool can be effective from Kindergarten all the way through high school… in subjects ranging from biology to foreign language to math. However, SAM Animation, a simple stop-motion software owned by iCreate and now an exclusively distributed product here at Kaplan, does indeed fit the bill for the breadth and depth we all look for in technology because why wouldn’t we want to maximize our investment in edtech?
There’s no better way to illustrate SAM’s versatility than to highlight projects students have created in the classroom. Typically working in groups of 2-3, students have the opportunity to use SAM to take sequential pictures of any materials and SAM does the heavy lifting to play back the images in movie form that kids can then edit, adjust the speed, and share with their friends and family.
From around the world, we’ve been inspired by the creations students have made and the level that teachers have integrated SAM into their classroom to increase engagement in the curriculum they already have to teach.
Where is this product particularly effective to enrich the learning experience for all students? With the help of our core researchers and other teachers, we’ve broken out the key areas that lend themselves well to animating. These are not the only applications, but hopefully provide a snapshot of the level of breadth and depth SAM Animation can enrich any classroom.
Animate things that change.
Because stop-motion animation requires to students to break down and recreate processes step-by-step (picture-by-picture), SAM becomes a powerful tool for increasing understandings of changing processes, particularly in science. Check out this animation that 5th grade students created to show the changing seasons.
Seasons from iCreate to Educate on Vimeo.
Visualize the unseen.
Content such as chemical reactions, molecular movement, body systems, celestial motion, and other concepts that humans cannot typically interact with are well-suited for animating. Asking students to make the “invisible visible” challenges them to think about what is happening on a deeper level than obvious to the common eye. For example, high school students were challenged to show molecular movement as water heats up over time.
Changing the Speed of Atoms from iCreate to Educate on Vimeo.
Share a story related to math or science.
Incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) topics through the use of narratives, providing students with relevance, creative outlets, and a chance to express what they know of a complex concept through the context of a story. This particular example we’ve highlighted here is an 8th grader illustrating what would happen if there was no gravity. After she completed the video, the teacher was able to engage in conversation to question the idea of ‘falling off the building’ in the first place if there truly was no gravity, providing a wonderful opportunity to initiate a meaningful content-focused discussion.
What if there was no gravity? from iCreate to Educate on Vimeo.
Interpret poetry or other literature.
We often see SAM Animation being used as the 21st century style book report. Teachers ask students to create characters and backgrounds to illustrate their comprehension of a reading assignment. The example below highlights first graders retelling the story of “Where the Wild Things Are” – it’s fabulously narrated by every student in the class, so turn up your speakers!
Where the Wild Things Are from iCreate to Educate on Vimeo.
The list goes on around the applications of SAM Animation and how it can be used to further enhance any content area. Check out more examples, testimonials, and case studies on iCreate to Educate's website. And as always, happy creating!