Aaron Brill, a teacher at San Francisco Day School, discovered iStopMotion during the spring of 2013. The school had just integrated iPads into the curriculum, and because they wanted to explore a variety of apps for educational purposes, Aaron decided to try out iStopMotion in his classroom.
“We chose iStopMotion because of the interface and some features that were not present in other similar apps,” he says.
As part of a geometry unit, Aaron’s students studied the art of origami. It was the perfect way to introduce iStopMotion as a learning aid. The students used the app to construct a “how to” video on the creation of an origami cube. A table group made up of six students completed the necessary paper folds individually while using iStopMotion to document each step. Then, they came together as a group to put the finishing touches on the cubes and their videos. Aaron says the students helped each other through difficult moments and to figure out the app’s features, particularly the grid lines and the onion skinning (their personal favorites).
“It is my strong belief that using an app such as iStopMotion can and does help with the learning process,” Aaron says. “What I frequently tell my students is that using iPads and creative apps help them become active learners. It’s one thing for a teacher to tell a student how to improve; it’s quite another thing for that student to observe and reflect upon his or her own process. Additionally, I feel these types of tools foster creativity. Students can express their understanding in new and exciting ways.”
Aaron also loves the idea of “app smashing,” when a user brings content from one app to another to expand upon ideas and utilize the apps’ different features. For example, he had his fourth graders use exported iStopMotion videos in a digital portfolio they’re building in Book Creator. Aaron is a big fan of using technology to bring about new, great ideas by collaborating on Twitter with colleagues from his school.
“Tools are evolving and collaboration is at an all-time high,” he says. On his Twitter page, Aaron shares any education tech ideas he comes across. He also features some of his students’ projects in the hopes of inspiring others. Give him a follow for more ideas on how you can unite technology and fun learning!