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Pixel Press Floors: draw a video game on paper, snap a picture and pla

  What it is: Pixel Press Floors is a seriously magical (currently free) app that brings a child’s imagination to life. With the Pixel Press Floors creation platform, students can literally dream up and draw their own video game without any coding. Students draw their ideas out on paper, and the Floors app turns the drawing into an actual video game that can be played. Print out the special paper so that the app can recognize the shapes “glyphs” that are drawn, or use the in app drawing tools. The drawing is instantly turned into a game that can be tested, designed, played, and even published to the “Arcade” where others can play it. How to integrate Pixel Press Floors into learning: The first step of creation is to download the Pixel Press Floors app on the iPad. Next, go to projectpixelpress.com to download and print the free sketch guide. Students draw up the game of their dreams and then take a picture of what they drew from the Pixel Press Floors app. The glyphs (shapes) that students draw are magically transformed into game play objects. After glyphs have been created, students can apply a design to the element, test it, and play it. Within the app, students can create games with: Run and jump game play (Mario-style) Create with 14 creator glyphs: terrain, moving blocks, ladders, portals, monkey bars, power-ups, coins, super coins, falling blocks, spikes, exploding blocks, start and end positions, pits and fireballs, keys. Two original themes to get the creativity jump-started: “Save the Parents” and “Fiddleheads: Stones of Eden” Publishing and sharing in the Arcade Pixel Press Floors is a fantastic “maker space” element to add to your classroom. This app is perfect for prototyping ideas, design thinking (ideation and prototyping), teamwork and collaboration, and to build creativity. In designing games, students learn systems thinking, creative problem solving, art and aesthetics, writing and storytelling, and creates a motivation for further STEM exploration. There is so much to learn from digital games.  As a player, students learn to think strategically, persist through failure and experience epic wins that can translate to what they do and are willing to try out in real life. As a designer students learn systems thinking, creative problem solving, digital art and aesthetics, and storytelling and writing. Students love being able to bring their creations and ideas to life in the form of a game. Video game creation could be the key to unlocking the storytelling genius in your reluctant writers. It has been my experience that a student faced with a blank paper and a writing assignment can be daunting. Introduce the idea of designing their own game and suddenly a storyline pours forth. It is pretty neat to watch! Students can create games that help them build skills. Instead of simply playing those drill/skill games on other websites/apps, they can create their own! This is visual notes 3.0. Instead of simply practicing math facts, students can create a customized game to help them learn and remember those facts! This type of game is perfect for creating games to practice: math facts, spelling, vocabulary, foreign languages, letter recognition, geography, history facts, etc. Instead of passively playing games in their free time, students can create their own! The blend of the hand-drawn and technology is seamless and brilliant. Kids will have such fun creating their own games and bringing their imagination to life. Tips: Game Star Mechanic would be an outstanding place to start, here kids can learn the thinking process behind designing their own video games. Are you using Pixel Press Floors in your classroom? Leave a comment below and share the ways that you use it with students!

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Presenting Learning with Stop Motion Animation

Posted by admin | Posted in collaboration, Create, inspiration, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, web tools, Websites | Posted on 14-09-2011

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What it is:  At Anastasis Academy, we have some Stop Motion Animation PROS in the form of an eight year and ten-year old boy.  These brothers taught themselves how to use stop motion animation, proceeded to create several learning videos (without assistance from a teacher) and, if that wasn’t enough, went on to teach the rest of our students how to do it!  Incredible.  Nothing like starting the day with a little viral learning!  Today these two young boys stood before our junior high students (twelve to fourteen year olds) and taught them how to make a stop motion animation video.  The young boys are SO proud of their accomplishment and were incredibly articulate as they taught the older kids about stop motion, the programs that can be used for stop motion and talked about technique.  The older students followed along as the boys led them step-by-step through creating their own short stop motion video with a pencil or shoe.  The ten-year old then issued the jr. high a challenge: Create a stop motion video before the end of the school day to show me, I’ll give you tips on what you can improve on.  Above is one of the jr. high created videos that was presented.  It was incredible to stand back and watch kids teaching and leading kids this way.  The age difference was no barrier today!

Today, our students used the iMotion HD app on the iPad to create their stop motion animations.  This FREE app is powerful in the hands of creative kids!  The brothers have been using stop motion regularly to reflect on, or display learning.

The older of the two brother’s started learning stop motion using SMA (Stop Motion Animator) this is a free program that works using a PC, webcam and a whole-lotta (technical term) imagination.

For the Linux crowd, there is the free Stop Motion.

For the Mac crowd (cheers), there is the free Jelly Cam.

How to integrate Stop Motion into the classroom:  Stop Motion is a great way for students to create their own animated videos.  Students can use stop motion to display learning, as a way to reflect on learning, to tell a story, to demonstrate a time-lapse of a scientific process or just as a creative outlet.  Stop motion requires students to do some pre-planning.  First students have to decide what story they are trying to tell, next they have to decide how they are going to demonstrate that story visually, finally they need to move an “actor” frame by frame through the scene.  The results are pretty incredible (as you can see above).

Tips:Some tips from our Stop Motion PROS: Make sure not to move your actor too far each time or the end result will be choppy, make sure to move your hand out of the shot before snapping the picture, plan through your story BEFORE you start.

Check out our YouTube channel for more stop motion animation from our students.  The Bones, Gnome.Eaten.By.Jaws, and Anastasis Academy videos were all created by the 8-year-old! (P.S. The kids LOVE comments on their videos!)

This, my friends, is what happens when you give kids room to learn!  Onward.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Stop Motion Animation in  your classroom!

Comments (15)

I loved the video!! What an awesome edgy idea for the students!! Who knows someday they will be designing commercials for Mac!

This is awesome because it shows kids to start with a simple idea and simple tools. I love the use of the whiteboard. I will use this as an example for a project with my kiddos in Greeley!

Had these thoughts in my blog!! The challenge is getting the technology into the classroom!!

This is way too cool! It makes me want to do stop animation.

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Presenting Learning with Stop Motion Animation […]

[…] Presenting Learning with Stop Motion – I went to a fabulous Stop Motion session when I was at ISTE in June.  Since then Stop […]

Great stop motion work guys. I’ve been teaching stop motion to children for several years and have published an extensive guide to making stop motion movies (Stop Motion Handbook using GarageBand and iStopMotion). This may be useful to give you real confidence for your next movies. Check it out here – http://www.acumen.net.nz/pages/NMSSMHandbook.html

It’s very useful tutorial for stop motion. I like your video tutorial.

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[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

[…] iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app! http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4257 […]

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