iCreate to Educate leverages existing technology and studentsâ€™ creative potential through intuitive, low-cost tools that increase retention and conceptual understanding across all content areas.
iCreate launched in June 2010 to address the need for innovative learning tools in schools limited by time and money. Leveraging a learning tool thatâ€™s been informed by research and in development since 2005, iCreate began running hands-on teacher workshops as a pilot to gather user data on all the requirements needed to enhance existing curricula with a 21st century technology, and how those enhancements could be shared among a network of teachers. The 6-month pilot has informed the strategy for refining the product and scaling iCreate as a differentiator in prioritizing learning over technology use.
The learning tool that is currently at the core of iCreate's offerings is a stop-motion animation application designed to give students a unique medium of representing their ideas and developing understandings in science. A limited feature free version of the product, known as SAM Animation, has attracted over 30,000 free download users in just 2 years. iCreate owns the exclusive license for SAM Animation, which is copyrighted and trademarked by Tufts University. Because the product has been in development for a number of years with real classroom testing, the software provides an intuitive, simple interface for students to physically build scenes on their desks with basic craft materials, and snap sequential still images of these scenes via a webcam in real-time, facilitating the creation of a stop-motion animated film or digital flipbook. These animated films give teachers a quick opportunity to assess students' conceptual understandings, and becomes a powerful tool on not just a learning level, but also a teaching level.
iCreate is scaling to offer student users of the software the ability to upload their creations directly to a free web community, where other educators can view how students have been able to apply the tool. While there are free options for both the application and the community, teachers and schools may pay for upgrades to the software, receiving more editing options, as well as upgrades to the community, receiving standards-based activity modules. All these pieces together provide the value proposition of iCreate: simple, effective just-in-time tools that can engage all learners.