Tuesday, June 7, 2016

STEM in the Classroom: with Animation Studio by HUE

Last year I decided I wanted to start STEM Maker Stations in my library.  I started small and easy with puzzles, educational board games, and maker activities like creating bookmarks and small books.  Then I realized that I was neglecting the T!  Thankfully, the folks at HUE have a heart for librarians and they sent me a HUE HD Pro Camera and Animation Studio, which is a stop motion animation kit.  While HUE provided me with these products to test in my library, all opinions are mine!
The HUE HD Pro Camera is PERFECT for small spaces! I connected it to the laptop that runs my Smartboard, because sometimes the illustrations in books are so tiny that we need to see them on the big screen!  I have a small student desk that holds all of my technology for the board, so the size of this camera is perfect for me. 
Image this desk with a laptop as well. Now do you see
why the camera's design is perfect??
While it is small, it can do so much! Not only does it project your image/object, it can take still pictures, has a built-in microphone, and can record videos! The camera comes with a base, but you can also plug it straight in to your USB port.  How cool is that?! My favorite use for the camera so far, other than just projecting illustrations in books, was when I used it to help me teach the students how to play a new game that I’d recently purchased.  The camera was perfect for showing the gameboard and cards with tiny fonts.

I am super excited about the Animation Studio! The animation kit comes with a camera, software, and an easy-for-kids-to-understand instruction book. 
Animation Studio by HUE
The software is preloaded with sample stop motion videos that are amazing and really show your students what can be achieved.  What I love about the instruction book is that it teaches the reader how each one of those videos were made!
The software is easy to use and very student friendly. I didn’t read any directions, just played around with the software and in just a few minutes I made a movie!!  The movie making process was really quite simple.  First I downloaded the software, using the enclosed DVD. 
After I installed the software, I plugged in the document camera and was ready to begin creating!  Something else I like about this camera is that you can use the provided base or you can plug the camera directly into your laptop, as shown below.
I built a simple Lego scene, took a picture, changed the position of the Lego man, then took another picture. 
After about 5 photos, I decided that was enough and clicked the play button in the animation software. You have the option to speed up or slow down the pictures, and even to add text to each one! There are plenty of options to further customize your movie scenes, like preloaded backgrounds, adding music or recording voice narration.  My students are going to LOVE this!

So without any further ado, here’s my Lego movie, titled Tiiiimmmmberrrrr!
video
I can’t wait to see the videos my students create!
Just think of all the ways you can use this software in your classroom...your students could make videos about a math task, science experiment, a timeline in social studies, write a story to accompany a video using Legos, and SO MUCH MORE!!
Do you have any HUE products in your classroom? Tell us what you have and how you use them in the comments below!

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