Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lego Stop Motion Fun!

For those of you who know me and my classroom, you'll know that I have a massive collection of Lego, including many, many minifigures. My learners this year have, with much collaboration, become very creative with the Lego, building houses, cafes and many other things with incredible detail. A couple of my learners have even gone so far as to make a number of stop motion videos, but in the last week they've taken things to an entirely new level.

When I first introduced Stop Motion to my class, we had been using Stop Motion Animator on chromebooks. I had some webcams that worked (though the majority of the ones I bought did not) and that was going fine. Then we had some issues with the saving, so it became very frustrating to see my learners put a lot of effort into their videos and then be unable to save things. So we tried Monkey Jam on the class desktops. There was an improvement in being able to save an export, but it was still a cumbersome process.

Then we tried the Stop Motion Animator App on the iPads. Brilliant. Great resolution, easy to use, easy to add audio and easy to upload to Youtube. Over the past few days, the big sets have been used to create some really elaborate and creative stories from two of my students. I especially enjoyed the way they used Lego bodies with no heads as clothes. 

For anyone thinking about maker spaces, this is one way I have used my maker space to help develop literacy skills. Have a look at what they've done. My input was solely to provide the Lego and show briefly how to make a stop motion video. I'm really impressed with the direction they took with minimal direction. I think it goes to show that learners (of all ages) need an opportunity to explore. The first Lego creations and stop motion videos we did this year were not very exciting, creative or well done. But given time to try lots of things, they've been able to produce some amazing this. I only wish I could give this group of learners more time to develop these problem solving and collaborative skills.

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