SAM Animation Software For Kids
Try a limited feature version of the software now!Free Download
What is SAM?
SAM (Stop Action Movie) Animation is stop-motion software used to engage students and deepen content understanding.
Created by teachers, validated by educational researchers and student tested around the world, this simple, user-friendly technology enables students of all ages to visually express their ideas within minutes.
It is hands-on, easy-to-use, and, most importantly, will unleash the creative imagination of every child as they build essential 21st century skills and shift into the Common Core.
Why is SAM different than other stop-motion software?
SAM is the simplest software on the market so the kids spend more time creating and telling their story than learning how to use the technology.
In addition, educational research supports SAM as a learning tool in the classroom. Watch a video and download white papers here.
SAM Animation is available as a single-license software download or in a variety of combinations with cameras, activity lessons and professional development training. Licenses are also available for school districts, after-school programs or multiple education sites.
SAM Animation: Single Computer Workstation
Each bundle outfits a single computer workstation with a SAM Animation software license for one computer, one complete webcam kit and one Facilitator Guide &l Student Activity Workbooks and Support. We recommend one complete workstation per 2-3 students in a classroom. (Computer not included)
Each bundle package includes:
- Computer License
- Webcam Complete Kit
- Facilitator Guide & Student Activity Workbooks — Preview
Item # Item Name Price 52400 SAM Animation: Complete Lab for 10 Computer Workstations $1,250.00 More Info District / Multi-Site License Call for Quote
SAM Animation: Single Computer License
Features include ability to arrange each frame on a timeline, edit images inside the software, add audio tracks and share directly to YouTube. The software also has the ability to make time-lapse movies.
Software is provided by digital download (for MAC or PC). Internet connection is required to activate the software. Single computer license is provided for a one-time fee allowing you to install and use the software on a single computer.
SAM Animation: Single Webcam Kit Complete
Originally designed by a teacher, we've paired a flexible 24" long flexarm stand with a plug-n-play 1" USB iCubie webcam for the perfect stop-motion workstation. The clamp at the end of the stand mounts easily to a desk or table, and the arm's length provides a suitable range to capture animation scenes large and small and at various angles. The camera is compatible on both PC and Mac operating systems (OS X 10.4.3+ and Windows XP, 7), without any additional software drivers needed.
SAM Animation: Single Classroom / Facilitator Guide
A single classroom/lab package includes one Animation Discovery Facilitator Guide and ten Student Activity Lesson Workbooks, provided in both hardcopy and digital format. Instructions will follow to activate the complementary support services and web training voucher.
Item # Item Name Price 52394 SAM Animation: Additional Classroom / Facilitator Guides $150.00 More Info
- Full day of training (6 hours) for up to 20 participants
- School / Single Site license
- Webcam Kits
- Facilitator Guides and Activity Lessons with Support
- Customized Training Available
- For more information about training, contact our professional development department at 800-334-2014, ext. 3228 or fill out our online form.
Educators face a tremendous challenge in transitioning to the Common Core State Standards. SAM Animation is being used in classrooms all over the world to help students understand, analyze, apply and synthesize content while engaging in project-oriented learning. 21st century skill-building structures are embedded within lesson activities developed by our education specialists. As a curriculum-enhancement tool, SAM Animation may become your most effective resource as you shift to Common Core.
View the student-made animations below to understand the range of content areas and grade levels where SAM Animation is already being integrated.
“ It's amazing that this tool can be both a learning and assessment platform. ”
"Our whole classroom comes to life with SAM Animation," said Dotty Corbiere, a math teacher at the Meadowbrook School in Weston, MA. The blend of hands-on with technology making a real movie, no less appeals to many different learning styles. "Everyone is on task and making a contribution. SAM Animation is a facilitator for real-world skills to be developed and core curriculum to be front and center," Dotty explained.
The Meadowbrook School uses SAM Animation in each of the K-8 grades, from math and science to reading and foreign language. Jonathan Schmidt, Technology Director, said that he hasn't seen any other program that's so widely used and effective. "Its amazing that this tool can be both a learning and assessment platform. I have an opportunity to really get inside my students' minds and understand whether they've grasped the material or not."
For Meadowbrook and hundreds of other schools across the country, SAM Animation has become a necessary element in the learning continuum.
Additional case studies and teacher testimonials are available on our partner iCreate website per the links below:
Note these questions are intended to get you started with SAM in the classroom. For technical support and questions, please review our partner iCreate's website that includes a downloadable userguide, podcasts, and detailed FAQs. If your question still is not answered, please contact us at 1-800-334-2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the SAM Animation support site at http://icreatetoeducate.com/support.
For PC Users
- Windows XP/7/8
- Quicktime 7.1+
- OpenGL 2.0 support
- Minimum 512MB of RAM
For Mac Users
- OS 10.5/6/7/8
- Quicktime 7.1+
- Intel based Macs
- Minimum 512MB of RAM
What grades or ages is the SAM Animation software geared towards?
While the software is truly an application that can span from K through 12 because it is so easy to use and versatile, we find that the 1st through 8th grade levels do well with the application and our curriculum support materials are geared specifically towards these students.
How long does it take for kids to learn the software and make projects?
Because the software is so intuitive, kids typically can become familiar with the software and create a project in one to two 50-min class periods. Sometimes projects extend longer depending on the teacher's goals, but there's little to no learning curve on using the software, most of the time is often dedicated to planning the story and making props.
What do teachers do after students create their movies? How do they assess students' work?
We find that teachers will set up "film festivals" or other sharing sessions for the kids to watch each others' videos. In addition, teachers use the videos as an assessment of conceptual understanding, as the video content is truly an opportunity to identify whether students grasp core content.
How many hours of content are provided in the Activity Lessons and Support offered with the software?
The Animation Discovery program is structured as 6 individual lessons and designed as a way for a class or student group to "get started". This program could also be utilized as a guide for an after school club or summer camp activity. Lessons can be spread out over multiple class periods (usually 6-12). Once familiar with the software and the creative animation process, students may pursue or be assigned more open-ended challenges. We've also enclosed a series of activity guides broken down by subject and topic providing content that could easily cover 90-120 class periods. Most of these additional activities are geared towards middle school students, but could be adapted or used as a template for elementary school student projects.
What is the difference between the free and full versions of SAM Animation?
The free version is limited feature as opposed to limited time. In the free version students can take up to 50-pictures or frames, which equates to about a 5-second animation. The free version also only allows one audio track and limits editing capabilities. In the full version, an unlimited number of pictures can be taken, along with two audio tracks and full editing capabilities.
If I want to outfit my classroom or computer lab, what do I need to purchase?
We recommend 2-3 students per single animation workstation. Therefore, a lab or classroom serving 20-30 students would probably be well served with a 10-pack software license, 10-pack webcam kit and a single classroom curriculum and support package to get started. Where budget constraints are an issue, we've had as many as 4 students work together at a workstation and these resources store and transport easily between classrooms.
Do schools have to use our recommended webcam kit?
Most any computer cameras or webcams will work; however, the one we recommend has proven to be ideal because it can be easily and securely clamped in place for filming and requires no drivers or software to install. Additionally, the camera itself is small, stores easily and does not have any of the features that other regular webcams have like face tracking, auto-light balancing, etc. which interfere with stop motion movie making and take more time and technical skill to set up. Students will be able to begin using this software and this webcam within minutes.
Will the software work with a document camera?
Most document cameras will also work and provide an opportunity for what we refer to as a "whole class animation", where kids can create parts of a story on their own and then take turns using one computer and document camera for creating the animation together as a group. Even if your computers have cameras built in, it's often easier to use separate webcams – which are much cheaper than document cameras - to enable kids to work in an open flat desktop space with their props.
Do I need Internet access to use the SAM Animation software and does it work on Macs and PCs?
The software is a standalone desktop application that is downloadable to work on both Macs and PCs. Internet is used initially to activate the software license, but after the initial activation is not required.
What other materials do I need besides a computer with the software and a camera?
Any craft materials should work well, and often it's an opportunity for teachers to ask students to be creative and resourceful on the types of materials they utilize as props for their movies.
Does SAM Animation work on an iPad or other tablet devices?
SAM Animation only works on a PC or Mac computer. However, we do have an iPad app that is based on SAM called myCreate, available for $4.99 from iTunes, with the option for education volume purchases (50% off for purchases of 20+ downloads).
The app for iPhone, iTouch, Android tablets, Android phones, and Windows tablets will not be available until 2014. The myCreate app has a similar look and feel as the SAM Animation software, without the editing capabilities. However, movies can be created with the app, exported to a movie file, and then imported into SAM Animation for final editing. myCreate does offer options to share direct to YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo as well.
Watch a video of Dr. Brian Gravel of Tufts University in Boston, MA speaking to the educational research supporting SAM Animation as the best stop-motion learning tool for the K12 classroom.
One of the unique aspects about SAM Animation that makes it an exemplary learning software and rise above other stop-motion programs is its origin from educational research at Tufts University.
Under Dr. Brian Gravel, a Professor of Science Education at Tufts University, the National Science Foundation funded research to design and develop the groundwork for SAM Animation from 2006 - 2009 as an alternative medium of idea expression for all K12 students. From this research and classroom testing, six principles governing the "Science of SAM" are highlighted below on why teachers continue to turn to SAM to improve content understanding, student engagement, and 21st century skill development across all grade levels and subject areas.
The success of SAM Animation has been largely due to real-time classroom testing and teacher feedback for over 5-years, and we continue to prioritize staying in touch with teachers through classroom and school visits, hands-on workshops, and other professional development opportunities.
These sessions not only help schools integrate SAM into the curriculum, but also afford us the opportunity to understand and implement lessons learned from the field.
Depending on your needs, we can customize a workshop for your school, and we also often run sessions at various educational conferences around the country.
Submit a request for a professional development workshop here, or feel free to contact us if you'd like to run a session yourself.
SAM Animation originated from university research, but was brought to classrooms around the world by the founder of iCreate to Educate, Melissa Pickering.
Melissa is a former Disney Imagineer, and believes that there's a potential Imagineer inside every child. Inspired by her own experiences with project-based learning in her early school years, which largely influenced her path to mechanical engineering, Melissa launched iCreate to give students an opportunity to express, engage, and be excited about learning. And become the Imagineers of our future.
Follow Melissa's blog on iCreate to Educate.