One area of photography that acts as a bridge between classic still image photography and video is time-lapse photography. Time-lapse photography consists of taking a series of photos at regular intervals and then displaying them one after the other. The effect can be used to show patterns that are not normally observed in real time. Clouds make a terrific subject for time-lapse photography as they roll across the sky. My clouds time-lapse long photo consisted of taking 150 photos using a intervalometer set to take one photo every 5 seconds. Using QuickTime Pro the photos were converted into a sequence displayed at 15 frames per second in a QuickTime movie with a total elapsed time of 10 seconds. How long did it take to shoot this time-lapse? Was is worth the time? The first question requires basic math skills the second one is based on opinion. One stunning use of time-lapse was produced by Dan Chung during China’s 60th Anniversary national day on October 1, 2009.
Helping teachers think through their desire to integrate technology into their classroom instruction requires patience and an attention to detail similar to that required to produce good time-lapse images. Teachers know that good classroom instruction requires an enormous amount of thought and attention to detail. Adding technology to the mix increases the demands made on teachers to acquire new skills. Many teachers are inspired to take the plunge to learn a new technology if it means their students will respond positively to the learning experience. What technology tool is the most important one for teachers to master? It’s the wiki. Why? Wikis build on basic word processing skills so you can quickly add text content to a sharable web page. The sharable nature of wikis make them part of what’s termed Web 2.0. The key to harnessing the instructional potential of the wiki lies in their ability to show growth. Think of a wiki as a time lapse learning tool, where learning can be captured and nurtured over a period of time.
A recent example of time-lapse learning can be illustrated through the Becoming America wiki. Becoming America is a new Teaching American History Grant project that provides professional development for teachers in six school districts. The end goal for teachers is to create an American history lesson composed of primary sources found in the many libraries, archives, and historic sites located across eastern Massachusetts. Through this research process, teachers learn to think historically while breathing new life into their American history curricula. Since the wiki’s launch in August 2009, it has logged 3300 hits with Braintree teachers accounting for 27% of the hit count. Braintree teachers use the wiki the most because they cannot attend face-to-face meetings. All teachers use the wiki to respond to questions posed by project historians using the discussion tab. Historians appreciate being able to view teacher responses before giving their seminars. As teachers begin creating their lessons the wiki will be a critical resource for organizing primary sources and weaving them into compelling learning experiences. The concept of wikis as time-lapse learning tools is best seen using the history function for any page. The Unit Teams 2009 page’s history tab reveals there have been 16 updates to the page since it was created on Oct. 5th. Clicking on any of the updates shows what changes were made. Each individual update represents one frame of a time-lapse record of learning.
What time-lapse Web 2.0 tool do you use?
If you are interested in learning more about time-lapse photography visit the DigitalArtworks Time-Lapse Tutorial.