Archives for June 2014

Giving Students a Place to Create: Setting Up an Educreations Classroom

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 2.20.00 PMI love free apps (who doesn’t?). And, I really love apps that have students as creators rather than consumers of content. When apps that allow students to be creators also make it easy for teachers to access their students’ work, well, that’s an ideal situation as far as I’m concerned. Educreations does just that. It allows students and teachers to create (and consume) content, and it allows teachers to access students’ work with ease.

Setting Up Your Classroom

Setting up an Educreations classroom is very straightforward. Visit to begin. Create a new account or login using an account you’ve already created. This will be the first screen you see.

Educreations_DashboardYou’ll want to start by creating a course. Clicking the “Create a Course” button will bring up the following screen.

educreationsCreate_a_CourseOnce your course has been created, you will have the options of changing the settings, viewing lessons, creating lessons, and adding students.

educreations lessonsIn order to add students, you will need to provide them with a code. You can get your class’s unique code by clicking on Students. If you click “Add” to the right, you will get a larger view of the code students will use to join the class.

educreations student codeAfter creating a teacher account, teachers need to share their class code with students. Students create accounts and log in through the app. They do not need to have an email address to do this, but they will be creating a username. You might want to consider creating a username protocol (first initial, last name) for quick identification purposes.

Students will see the following screens on the iPad when they go to register to your class, and they will first choose “Create a Free Account.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.59.43 PMStudents will need to specify that they are a student.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.59.58 PMYes, they have a course code.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 4.00.44 PMLast, they will fill in their first and last names, provide a username and password (determined by the teacher), and then they register.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 4.01.28 PM Once students have registered to the class, they will appear in your roster when you click the “Students” button at

educreations_rosterIf you choose not to create a classroom, students can still save their work (as long as they’ve recorded something). They choose Done > Save Lesson. They navigate through all the saving screens, but instead of logging in, they just tap Cancel in the left corner of the save screen. The video will save locally on the iPad.

Common Core Connection

Using Educreations can help students in developing their communication skills, especially. There are three Speaking and Listening Anchor Standards that can easily be developed using Educreations.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL4: Present information, findings and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL5: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. 

Students can use this app across the curriculum; therefore, using Educreations aids in developing almost any of the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, or the History/Social Studies standards (including the content standards in your state).

You Might Want to Know…

Educreations is a great app, but in all honesty, there are some limitations that some teachers find frustrating. As long as you know the limitations before you begin, you can eliminate frustration and save time for you and your students down the line. Here are some limitations along with some positive elements of Educreations:

  • Students have to finish a video within one class period if the iPads are being shared because lessons can’t be saved and edited at a later time.
  • In addition, in order to save the work, the students must record something. They either have to narrate the lesson after they’ve drawn all their slides,  or they can record as they draw. The workaround for this is to take screenshots of the slides they’ve drawn if the students don’t want to record, but that sort of defeats the purpose of the app.
  • Lessons only save locally within the app or to the teacher-created classroom at They are not saved to the iPad’s camera roll, though they can be saved to Dropbox (a positive thing!).
  • Another positive aspect is that lessons can be embedded in your website or blog, which makes lessons easy for students and parents to access.
  • In a shared classroom, student-created lessons can be available for classmates to view on their own devices (provided they are signed into the class). This makes for easy tutoring or sharing of information.
  • The biggest positive of all is that this app is free, and it allows your students to create content and show what they know.

What Do You Think?

How do you use Educreations in the classroom? What do your students like best about the app?

Stop Motion Videos? Yes, You Can!

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.17.31 AMStop Motion videos are popping up all over the place, and after playing with Stop Motion Studio app, I can see why! Stop-motion is a great way to create animated videos using objects or drawings instead of people. Students are able to exercise their creativity using stop motion, and it’s not as scary as starring in a feature film (well, for some students, at least– some students crave the camera!). This particular app, Stop Motion Studio, is free, although there are some in-app purchases that will allow students to enhance their creations, but students and teachers can easily use the free version and still create high quality projects.

How Does Stop Motion Work?

Stop motion is basically a string of snapshots that get played one after the other in video form, and it makes the objects in the snapshots appear to move. It’s just like the old-school flip books we used to make in elementary school, when we would draw stick figures jumping over rocks at the bottom of sticky-notes, and then flip through them quickly. Remember that? It was awesome. Students can draw their own pictures to use in the video, they can create clay figures, or they can use other action figures they may have.

Launching the app for the first time will bring up the Welcome Video. It just shows a little movie made with some small pieces of paper.


Starting a new stop-motion video isn’t entirely intuitive. Swipe the screen to the right, and a plus sign will appear where the starting screen of the other video was before.


Tapping the plus sign will open the camera along with some help text for navigating the controls that are on the first screen.


Once you’ve set up your materials, you are ready to begin taking your photos! Each photo is stored as a frame in the reel at the bottom. Tapping on any frame will reveal an additional menu which allows you to copy, move, capture, hold, select, or delete a frame.


If you aren’t sure what an icon does, tapping on the question mark will bring up the help menu.


Tapping on the settings gear at the top of the frame reel at the bottom brings up another menu that mades adjustments to the camera as well as allows the user to turn on the grid. This gives the creator an idea of how far their characters have moved and how far to go next.skitchsm1

Another feature of the Stop Motion app is the option to add sound. Tap on the microphone icon to record directly into the movie. The picture/musical note icon brings up a media import menu.

Tapping on the settings gear at the top of the frame reel at the bottom brings up another menu that allows students to make adjustments to the playback settings.


In order to create the 13-second video below, I captured about 60 photos. I don’t have any music stored in my iPad and I didn’t want to do a voice-over, so I exported the video to the camera roll and added the music in iMovie. This isn’t necessary, but it was easier (for me) than trying to do this in the app itself.

Common Core Connection

Like many of the apps I’ve featured on Come On, Get ‘Appy, this app is fabulous for developing the 4 Cs, which helps students achieve the Common Core State Standards. Students might use this app to create a story from scratch, or they might use it to retell a story they’ve read in class. If it were used in this way, students would be developing many of the reading standards.

In order to create a well-balanced stop motion video, students need to create a storyboard. This requires them to write their ideas and place them in sequential order. In some cases, they may even write a script. This would require them to be working with all of the Writing Anchor Standards that fall under Production and Distribution.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Additionally, students can use Stop Motion as part of Speaking and Listening Anchor Standard 5.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

Classroom Applications

There are so many ways to use stop motion (or any video, for that matter) in the classroom. Here are just a few examples.

  • retell a story
  • illustrate original narratives
  • animated reader’s theater
  • show the steps of a scientific process
  • animate a P.E. concept or sport
  • animate a math concept
  • recreate a historic event

 What Do You Think?

Many students are already using Stop Motion in the classroom. How have your students used it?