Posted Under (IPEVO, P2V, P2V Educators) by ipevoblog on 03-30-2011
Teachers are always looking for new ways to reach their students, and in that spirit, we’re very pleased to share the story of iCreate to Educate, a Massachusetts-based education technology company. iCreate to Educate provides innovative stop-motion animation software that puts students’ ideas into motion.
iCreate came about as a result of a Tufts University NSF research grant that explored interactive teaching tools and how best to integrate them into the classroom. A software program called SAM Animation was developed from the grant, and several of the Tufts University project leads decided to form iCreate in order to reach teachers directly and achieve true classroom integration of SAM.
SAM Animation is a powerful interactive learning tool in which students can create a digital flip book, capturing images streaming live from a web/document camera—one snapshot at a time—and arranging them into a timeline to illustrate motion. The end product is a stop-motion video that students can easily share through sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. SAM Animation has a simple, user-friendly interface and takes almost no time to learn, a result of feedback from teachers who were tired of spending more time in class learning a new tool than actually exploring the curriculum.
The result is an interactive, multimedia—and fun!—alternative to the ordinary for subjects as diverse as science, math, and reading comprehension. SAM Animation gets students engaged in an intuitive and visual way; the software essentially helps students get a handle on complex subjects or processes (say, chemical reactions, physics problems, or the digestive process), learning that might otherwise get bogged down with difficult vocabulary or non-visual explanations.
Melissa Pickering, a co-founder of iCreate, contacted IPEVO after the company’s search for an ideal SAM Animation camera ended with the Point 2 View USB Document Camera. Melissa explained why the Point 2 View made a lot of sense for users of SAM:
“In keeping with our commitment to simplify the animation process as much as possible for teachers, the Point 2 View is extremely easy to use, and its USB plug-and-play capability is a good fit for teachers who just want to plug in and start work. We also really responded to the Point 2 View’s autofocus and single-click focus features. Students can use single-click focus if the camera stays at the same distance to the subject, or autofocus if the camera needs to be moved from shot to shot. It’s great to have either option.”
But perhaps the biggest draw for iCreate was the Point 2 View’s multi-jointed stand.
“We spent a long time trying to come up with a way to mount traditional web cams for animation work,” Melissa told us. “Teachers were using some very unusual rigs for their cameras with SAM Animation! But with the Point 2 View, it’s easy to position the camera anywhere it needs to be for animation capture. The Point 2 View provides effortless versatility, no matter what your subject is.”
Thanks very much to Melissa and iCreate for sharing their story. We understand the company recently celebrated 30,000 downloads of the SAM Animation software. Quite an achievement! If you’re an educator, from kindergarten to high school, and you’re in need of an effective yet fun new teaching tool to bring your curriculum to life, we urge you to download a FREE demo of the SAM Animation software.