by Megan - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - Permalink
All papers are in, tests are graded, report cards have gone home and yearbooks have been signed. That’s right folks, the end of another school year. You know what that means don’t you? Now it’s the teachers’ turns to get out and play! That’s exactly what they did at last week’s International Society for Technology in Education conference (that’s a mouthful – we prefer “ISTE”), which was held in San Antonio, Texas from June 23-26. The hardworking teachers got to get their hands on some of the latest technology available for educators, including iStopMotion for iPad!
As major proponents for using technology in education, Boinx was there to showcase our stop motion animation app, as well as to speak with educators about how they can incorporate these technologies into their curricula. We had the awesome opportunity to co-exhibit with our friends from Freshi Media (that’s Freshi like Fresh-Eye!). At Freshi Media, their goal is to introduce digital filmmaking, animation and video game design and development to children, K-12. They’ve got an amazing program, and we strongly encourage you all to check them out. Freshi even offers stop motion animation courses, using none other than iStopMotion!
The conference was quite the success, and we had a wonderful time chatting with so many enthusiastic educators who are passionate about keeping their classrooms ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. We even had the opportunity to speak with some teachers who are already using iStopMotion for Mac or iPad in the classroom, and it was so rewarding to hear their stories. If you were at ISTE, we hope you had as good a time as we did. If you weren’t, no worries! Feel free to email us at [email protected] for information on our educational pricing or for more information on how to incorporate our different software offerings into your curriculum.
by Megan - Monday, July 01, 2013 - Permalink
We met Melissa Fisher at last year’s CUE conference, where she first learned about (and immediately downloaded) iStopMotion for iPad. She, like us, was extremely excited about the many possibilities the app offered in the classroom. “I returned and showed it to a few students in fifth grade,” Melissa recalls. “It was an exciting thing for them. They then showed up during their recess time to play and create their own project.”
Melissa teaches technology and digital arts to kindergartners through fifth graders, as well as exploratory or elective classes to middle school students. Her school, the Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School in Northridge, California, is fortunate enough to have a number of iPads available to the students, allowing for greater technology integration in the classroom. “This also means that we bounce back and forth from the desktop Macs to the iPads for projects, with the students sometimes bringing their iPads into the lab for guided lessons and additional assistance, bridging the gap between lab and classroom that is often seen at schools.”
This past trimester, Melissa chose to introduce her sixth and seventh graders to the art of stop motion animation using iStopMotion for iPad. (Oh, how I wish MY teachers let US use iStopMotion for iPad in the classroom. Oh wait, iPads didn’t exist…). Using a projection screen to display what was happening on the iPad, she demoed the app to her class, running through the creation of a scene, setting up blocking, showing how to delete frames, and so on. She didn’t go overboard on instructions, however, sensing how intuitive the software is and knowing her students would master it in no time. She left them to get started, saying, “My students couldn't get their hands on their iPads fast enough. For those that weren't quite ready to begin shooting scenes, they couldn't stop talking about getting started. The app was not overly complicated, so what they thought at first might be difficult was suddenly very doable. As a result, their excitement increased.”
“My students learned about the entire production process from concept generation/script writing and storyboarding to character development/creation to blocking, filming with iStopMotion on their iPads and the final edit,” Melissa continued. “The process was a true learning experience for them. They had to try their big ideas and see if they would work and if they could complete them in the time allotted. As a result, my students have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In fact, I have already been requested to teach the same exploratory next year.”
"Making 'The Plant Revolution' was the most fun thing I've ever done with technology in school, and my first actual stop motion project," says Lucas L. of his classroom experience with iStopMotion. "iStopMotion is one of the best movie-making apps I've ever used, and although I don't have iStopMotion on a device at home, it has inspired me to work more with stop motion animation."
Melissa summarizes her classroom experience with iStopMotion for iPad saying, “Although my students learned just how difficult and time consuming character creation and stop motion can be, in regards to the technology aspect of our class, iStopMotion for iPad is so user friendly that I believe it greatly aided in my students' success.” Emma, another of Melissa's students who had the privilege of being able to animate in the classroom, enjoyed using iStopMotion for iPad, saying, "I found it really, really easy to use."
Watch the video above – a stop motion animation of (in my personal opinion) one of the greatest music videos of all time – plus see more of what Melissa’s students have created here.
Showing Off Our Educational Prowess
Attending the ISTE conference this year? Boinx will be there with our friends from Freshi Media, demoing the latest version of iStopMotion for iPad. Check us out at booth 4281 in Hall D for more information. Hope to see you there!
by Megan - Friday, January 18, 2013 - Permalink
No, this isn’t a post about the best way to flip your iPad without causing the horribly dreaded spider web effect. It’s about transforming the iPad from a consumption device to one that spurs creative thinking and development. It’s true that while many have already discovered the iPad’s potential to truly act as a learning device, others sadly remain in the camp that believes the total opposite – a line of thinking we’re determined to prove wrong. Fortunately, we’ve got a great deal of support on our side, from forward-thinking parents to bloggers to teachers.
Case in point: in an article on Appolicious by Julene Reed, ADE and an “educator with twenty–two years of experience as a technology director, classroom teacher, technology integration specialist, and administrator,” about apps for educators, she argues exactly how an educator can “flip” the iPad “from consumption devices to powerful creation stations.” Julene includes iStopMotion for iPad as one of the appealing apps for educators, explaining how animation in the classroom can stimulate creative thinking. And with over two decades of experience, Julene really knows her stuff!
She tells readers: “The creation of stop motion videos is one of my favorite strategies for creativity with the iPad. These can be used with almost any grade level and curricular area. Stop Motion Video is created with a series of still photos that are 'played' sequentially, creating an animated type of video. Once students are given the opportunity to create 'characters' for their Stop Motion videos using Play–Doh, Legos, small toys, or other objects, their creativity explodes!”
Julene even provides us with some great tips and ideas of how exactly iStopMotion for iPad can be integrated effectively into the curriculum. Here are two of our favorite lesson ideas from her:
• Retell nursery rhymes or scenes from fairy tales, stories, or books using Stop Motion videos. Have students collaborate in small groups to create their videos, then present them to their classmates, having the classmates guess the nursery rhyme, interpret a scene from a story, etc.
• Voiceovers for these videos could be done in a foreign language, strengthening the students' oral language skills.
Julene also provides a link to examples of student work creating using iStopMotion for iPad. Her school’s psychology teacher worked with high school students to create stop motion animations that would demonstrate psychological concepts in order to teach these concepts to classmates. What an amazing idea! Check out the videos here.
How do you use iStopMotion? What other ideas can you come up with for using iStopMotion in the classroom or flipping the iPad? Please share with us in the comments section!
by Megan - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - Permalink
Even though school is close to being out for the summer, more and more people have been catching the iStopMotion for education bug. Whether it’s the original iStopMotion for Mac or the app version, iStopMotion for iPad, educators and students alike agree it’s a great way to explain something in a digital storytelling format. Teach thru Technology blogger Paul Wagner, who’s been in the educational field since 1999, recently wrote an article on the benefits of using stop motion animation in schools and then followed up that article with one specifically on iStopMotion for iPad!
In his first post about stop motion animation for educational purposes, “Say it with Clay(mation)!” Paul says, “Kids love this project because it allows them to be creative and have fun. Parents love it because they can see a product that was created by their child. Teachers love it because it gives the student a hands-on, in-depth look at a concept or process.”
In his follow up post, “A Stop Motion Must!” Paul says, “Why am I talking about this again? Well I had heard about an app that was available for the iPad called iStopMotion by Boinx Software. I couldn’t resist the temptation…I finally broke down and bought the app. It is a $10 app, so I was a little apprehensive at first. When you spend that kind of money for an app you expect it to be spectacular. Well I am definitely NOT DISAPPOINTED! The app, in my opinion, is amazing. It gives you clear images. All of the settings are done for you by default so all you have to worry about is taking the pictures.”
Thank you for the kind words, Paul! We pride ourselves on developing software that is easy to work with for those who may not be as tech-savvy as others, yet still has many capabilities for the techie and creative types. In regards to iStopMotion’s educational application, Paul says, “Claymation, probably more widely known as stop motion animation, is a great way for students to show a process…such as a life cycle, factorization, and word families…in a digital storytelling format.”
To show just how easy to use iStopMotion for iPad is, Paul includes an example from his 8-year-old daughter, who was able to create a stop motion animation without any help from her techie dad. She watched a one-minute tutorial, tested out a couple ideas, and in about five minutes, created a pretty cool iStopMotion for iPad animation. Check it out here!
In an unrelated post, Ryan Moneer Yaman published a video on YouTube illustrating the influenza pandemic using iStopMotion for Mac. The video is an awesome example of how you can use stop motion animation to visually explain something, whether it’s an event, a process, a person - anything. Ryan skillfully animates the definition and symptoms of the flu, it’s history, how and where it spread to, and more. Check out Ryan’s animation above or right here.
As Paul explains and Ryan exemplifies, stop motion animation is a great alternative to your typical poster board, slide show presentation or diorama. Even if school is out soon, summer has so much to offer for stop motion animations. Here are some ideas…
-Bring your toys to life with stop motion animation on a rainy day
-A time lapse of the sun rising or setting
-A stop motion animation of building a sand castle
-A time lapse of the progress of your tan throughout the summer (though don’t forget the sun block!!)
-So many more!!
And what better tool to use than iStopMotion for Mac or iPad?! Be sure to share your summer iStopMotions with us!
by Megan - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - Permalink
Happy spring everyone! It’s been a busy month for us Boinx folks. I just returned from a trip to Palm Springs for the annual CUE conference (that’s Computer-Using Educators) – what a success! The conference, which is one of the biggest tech conferences in California, was packed with teachers, tech coordinates, students (though just on Saturday, of course!) and more, seeking out the latest in technology for education. It was the perfect opportunity for us to showcase BoinxTV, iStopMotion 2, and iStopMotion for iPad, and all of their educational benefits for tech savvy teachers and students.
Not only did we get a lot of positive feedback from attendees (some may or may not have purchased the iStopMotion for iPad app while at our booth…), but it was so encouraging to see just how big of a role technology plays in the classroom, and how students and teachers alike are embracing it. There was even an exhibit dedicated to showcasing projects that students have created using technology like the iPad. Seeing first hand how confident these young students are was very impressive. Just another example of how, when you put technology in the hands of children, they will do truly amazing things with it.
by Megan - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - Permalink
At West Tisbury School in Massachusetts, a group of students meets every week to shoot their own television show, which is put on display for their classmates and teachers to see each week. How do they do it, you ask? With BoinxTV, of course!
Using the “studio-in-a-box,” teacher Valerie Becker and her “news crew” are able to create WTS-TV, without the need for a studio or expensive editing gear. “This is not a TV production class – it’s a group of dedicated students who are enthusiastic about learning the art of broadcast. But because it's not a class, we’re always on the lookout for vacant classrooms to use for creating the show,” says Becker. “That’s what makes this so impressive, that we're able to do that, because the entire 'studio' is on the computer.”
WTS-TV episodes, which air in the entryway of the school Monday through Friday all week long, cover all West Tisbury School activities, from sporting events to spelling bees and talent shows to school trips. They even list all of the birthdays each week, giving every member of the school their fair share of airtime. Through the production process, students on either end, whether they’re the interviewer or subject, have the opportunity to learn from a unique experience. They’re able to build confidence, learn the art of interviewing and storytelling, and share their West Tisbury experience with peers, building a strong school community and awareness of school events.
“Each week is better than the last,” says Becker of the students’ progress after only a few months of using the software. “BoinxTV is a wonderful tool for elementary students to experience the roles and responsibilities of broadcasting. If we were able to offer a formal class in broadcasting, I would unhesitatingly use BoinxTV.”
Becker and her students have been successfully shooting and airing WTS episodes since December 2011 and are looking forward to expanding their skills as a TV production crew. Check out past episodes of WTS-TV here!
by Megan - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - Permalink
Fryeburg Academy, a day and boarding school in Maine, is an independent preparatory school that prides itself on providing a supportive yet challenging environment for their students. The Academy believes its strong school community fosters learning and growth in all of their students, and its comprehensive co-curriculum cultivates generations of students who graduate well prepared for the future.
A recent addition to the school’s curriculum to help further the Academy’s mission is Filmmaking and Broadcast – a course that requires its students to create content for, report, shoot and edit their own news show. After weeks of hard work and behind-the-scenes efforts – made easier through the class’s use of BoinxTV – FATV is broadcast online to the news team’s fellow classmates and faculty.
“We could not be doing the news show at all without BoinxTV,” said Mike Dana, a former motion picture cinematographer and creator/teacher of Filmmaking and Broadcast at Fryeburg. “We use one of our editing station iMacs as a digital TV studio and installed the BoinxTV software. There is no way I could have started a News Media class with the expense of a traditional hardware based studio.”
In line with Fryeburg’s mission of offering students a well-rounded curriculum that will prepare them for the real world, the FATV news team is run totally by students – eight in total this year – under the guidance of Dana. They are responsible for all of the work that goes into creating a news segment and have learned the ins and outs of video production because of it. “The kids love it,” said Mike Dana.
Lead anchor and sports expert Forrest Emery said, “It’s definitely a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot about the profession that I don’t think you would otherwise – stuff you wouldn’t think about normally if you were just watching the news at home. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.”
FATV exposes Fryeburg students to experiences they would not otherwise have, partly made possible through BoinxTV. “This would have been really tough to pull off 10 or 15 years ago. The rules haven’t changed; there’s still a certain structure and a certain way of making a plan, but the kids can now use the technology on their own,” Dana said. “With a little guidance, they’re able to tell stories. With Boinx TV (which is a software-based studio in a box, basically), a computer and a green screen on the wall, we can make news shows.”
Of his students, Dana says he’s seen them grow immeasurably just over the past year because of their involvement in the class. “There is always a difficult period getting students comfortable with doing interviews and asking questions of their peers and teachers, but they always get over that and gain a lot of confidence as they do more shows and segments,” he said. “Wait till you see what our students here at Fryeburg are able to accomplish with hard work, creativity, and BoinxTV software for the Mac.”
…No need to wait though! Check out FATV’s news shows here now.
by Cara - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - Permalink
Our resident BoinxTV mastermind, Bastian, recently came across another great piece of equipment to use alongside BoinxTV - the HDMI to Composite /S-Video Converter 3RCA CRT TV CVBS from Portta. Designed to convert HDMI to either Composite Video or S-Video, this converter allows the devices only equipped MiniDisplayPort output to be connected to CRT TV. "We receive many requests from schools for an adapter or converter to use with BoinxTV," says Bastian. "This converter is perfect for school use, as many schools may be using HD devices and Macs that only allow for digital video playout, but are only equipped with analog TV. This takes care of that problem, converting your HDMI to analog, and allowing schools to run BoinxTV at the best possible quality."
Bastian outlined the three different scenarios in which schools might use the HDMI converter to run BoinxTV in a handy little diagram - click here to view. Here's a breakdown of each diagram:
Case 1: Mac with a DVI-out port: You have your Mac with a DVI-out port. Simply connect your Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Converter cable, like this one from Menotek, to your DVI-out port. Then connect your composite or S-Video cable from your Mini DisplayPort to your cable system. For audio, connect a 1/8" > RCA cable, and voila, you're in business!
Case 2: Mac with a Mini DisplayPort without embedded Audio: For video, simply connect your HDMI cable to your Portta HDMI Converter box. Then take your composite or S-Video cable and connect to your cable source. Once again for audio, connect a 1/8" > RCA cable.
Case 3: Mac with a Mini DisplayPort with embedded Audio: Just as in case 2, connect your HDMI cable to your Portta HDMI Converter box, and your composite or S-Video cable to your cable source. Then, connect your 1/8" > RCA cable directly from your Converter box to the cable system.
All in all, the HDMI Converter box from Portta is an extremely affordable and great quality product to help schools get set up with BoinxTV. Just cable it up once, open BoinxTV on your Mac and, Bastian suggests, output to 1280x720 for the best results. The converter also comes with cables, so you have everything you need to get started. You can get the HDMI to Composite /S-Video Converter from Portta on Amazon.com at a great price. Try out and let us know what you think!
by Cara - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - Permalink
Attention all teachers! Watch this cute video of students using iStopMotion to make a multiplication video, and see just how much the kids like to get involved when using stop motion animation in the classroom. Working with iStopMotion teaches students a variety of skills, from teamwork, to problem solving, critical thinking, and more. It's a new and innovative way to make learning fun and provide students with immediate satisfaction and a sense of achievement. From the arts, to the sciences, mathematics, and more, iStopMotion in the classroom is helping students tackle school subjects in a highly creative, hands-on and very cool way! Click here to learn about more ways to incorporate iStopMotion into your classroom!
by Cara - Thursday, September 01, 2011 - Permalink
This back to school season, educators all over the world are including a new tool in their teaching curricula - BoinxTV. I've learned that as more and more educators begin to integrate technology into the classroom, BoinxTV has quickly become a fan favorite among students and teachers alike for its user-friendly workflow and engaging video production capabilities. From creating a school news show, to broadcasting school events, conducting live interviews, or even making a full documentary, BoinxTV makes classroom projects more vivid and exciting - and kids really do love it!
"The BoinxTV application is like having a TV studio in the classroom," says Peter Goetz, Kentfield School District. "The look, feel, and results are very professional, and the students fall right into their roles as engineers, writers, directors, pundits, or special guests. Whether filming high-resolution videos or broadcasting a news show to a uStream audience, this is a classy and cost-effective way to do realistic media production with teenagers."
I think one of the most rewarding things about BoinxTV is that it gives students an immediate sense of achievement and satisfaction. It keeps them interested and engaged by simplifying the video production workflow and producing immediate results in real time. Kids can create their very own news show - just like CNN or the Today Show - in just one classroom period. "We use BoinxTV for our live news program," says Zachary McNaughton, Digital Audio & Video Electronics Instructor, RVTC School District. "We love the software for what it does! It gives us the look and feel we need during the live show and also eliminates editing for us after the live production. This year we will be building a real new set and really spicing things up for the show. The kids can't wait!"
There are so many ways educators and schools can use BoinxTV to engage kids in the learning process, help build teamwork skills, and introduce them to important technology workflows. Click here to find out all the ways BoinxTV can be used to spice up your classroom this fall!