App review by John Sooja, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2015
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Bare-bones, stop-motion tool lacks support

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Editorial review by Common Sense Education
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Pre-K–5 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Arts, Creativity

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Pros: Easily save and share movies.

Cons: Very basic functionality compared to other stop-motion animation apps, with limited editing tools.

Bottom Line: It's a mixed bag -- a free, no-frills stop-motion animation app that could spark interest but might wear thin with its lack of features and support.

Teachers can use KOMA KOMA for iPad as an introduction to how animation and stop-motion creation work. As a companion tool, consider having kids create movies that help animate how certain life science phenomena work or movies that display science experiments step by step. Teachers could also make use of the time-lapse feature to study slow-moving processes. More broadly, teachers can encourage students to create stories, perhaps recreating important moments in history.

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KOMA KOMA for iPad is a simple stop-motion animation app for beginners. The inviting interface and design allow kids to get in quickly and make movies within minutes. The app automatically opens up the iPad’s camera and launches quickly into the viewer interface with only four buttons. A big red "record" button takes pictures, while a big green "play" button will play what has been captured. A blue "X" button deletes the last picture taken, and the yellow "arrow" button saves the current movie to the gallery. Also, the current number of images is always tracked and represented by the number at the bottom of the screen. One of the most helpful aspects of KOMA KOMA is the "onion skinning" feature, which always shows the previous image taken as a transparent image so positioning the frame for the next image is much easier. Onion skinning can be toggled off, too. The few settings options allow for control over frame rate, from one frame per second to 30 frames per second, and automatic capture set with time intervals between three seconds and 10 minutes.

This is a good place to start learning how to create stop-motion animation movies, and kids will love watching their imaginations come to life. They can take their favorite toys and put them in motion, create stories and sequences, or make little presentations showing how causal interactions work. However, KOMA KOMA for iPad is not a full-fledged animation studio and is even more limited when compared to competitors such as Stop Motion Studio. Although kids will become familiar with frame-by-frame editing, they will not encounter other editing tools such as aftereffects, adding narration and writing, audio, or manipulating existing animations through drawing. As only a camera-capture animation creator, kids will best make use of this app as a portable "flip book" maker. There's also a dearth of supports -- only a few introductory videos and very little else in the way of FAQs, contextual cues, and instruction.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

The simple, if a bit outdated, design will get kids to experiment, play, and create.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Kids will take pride in saving and sharing creations, but instruction is sparse.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Only a handful of videos explain the primary functionalities. Beyond that, kids are on their own.

Common Sense reviewer
John Sooja Classroom teacher

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Featured review by
Robert P. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Woodward Academy
College Park, United States
Great app to introduce stop-motion animation to students or teachers.
Perfect tool for teachers first looking to get started with stop-motion animation. Little-to-no setup time. Intuitive, but lacks advanced features other apps provide.
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