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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Make Stop Motion Videos on Your Chromebook

On Monday I livestreamed a presentation about making videos with students. In one part of the presentation I was asked for a recommendation for a stop motion video creation tool that works on Chromebooks. My recommendation is to try Stop Motion Animator.

Stop Motion Animator is a free Chrome app for creating stop motion videos. The app is free and easy to use. It does not even require students to create accounts in order to use it.

To create a stop motion video with Stop Motion Animator launch the app and grant it access to your Chromebook's webcam. Then you capture a series of pictures with your webcam and play them back at various speeds in a stop motion style. You can add audio to your video in Stop Motion Animator. Your completed video must be downloaded to your Chromebook as a .webm file which you will have to upload to either YouTube or Google Drive to playback outside of Stop Motion Animator.

Applications for Education
Creating stop motion and timelapse videos can be a fun way for students to bring their creative stories to life in a Gumby and Pokey style. Your students can use pictures of images they have drawn, clay models that they have made, or toys that they position and re-position to animate a story.

Stop motion and timelapse videos can also be helpful when teachers are trying to help students see how a lengthy process like osmosis works. While good stop motion and timelapse videos can take a long time to create, tools like Stop Motion Animator make that process a bit easier.

Come to the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp to learn more about making videos on Chromebooks. 

Three Good Places to Find Public Domain Images

My earlier post about Common Craft's new video prompted a few people to ask me for recommendations for places to find public domain images and videos. Here are the three places that I go to when I need public domain images.

Pixabay hosts high quality public domain images. You can search on Pixabay by using keywords or you can simply browse through the library of images. When you find a Pixabay image you can download it in the size that suits your needs. Registered users do not have to enter a captcha code to download images. Users who do not register can download images, but they do have to enter a captcha code before downloading each picture. Pixabay has a "safe search" filter that I recommend activating before searching.



Flickr's The Commons hosts images from libraries and museums around the world. You can search The Commons by topic or by searching for a specific type of image.



Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Commons can be good places to find images that are in the public domain as well as images that have Creative Common licenses. I haven't found a great way to search for images on Wikipedia and Wikimedia so I just enter a search for a topic, person, or place and then scroll through the page to look for an image. It's not the most efficient process, but it works for me. Just make sure that you check the licensing statement on the image before you re-use it.

Public Domain Explained by Common Craft

Public Domain Explained by Common Craft is a new video that answers some common questions about the differences between works that are in the public domain and those that are copyrighted. The video also teaches how works end up in the public domain and some tips for finding media that is in the public domain. You can watch the video and or read the transcript here. The video is also embedded below.


Applications for Education
This new video is a great companion to Common Craft's previous video about Copyright and Creative Commons. Both are videos that students and adults should watch before downloading and re-using any pictures, videos, or audio recordings that they find on the Internet.

On a related note, next week Common Craft is hosting a free webinar about how to make Common Craft-style videos.

Disclosure: I have an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft.