Teacher Gives GigaPan A+

I am a teacher in an elementary/middle school in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and I learned about the GigaPan at TRETC, an educational technology conference two years ago where Dror Yaron introduced this robotic device at one of the sessions.  After seeing what the GigaPan could do, my mind was spinning faster than the 360 feature of the GigaPan itself, and I was recording mental snapshots in my mind about how I could use this incredible technological wonder at my school.  I wanted a GigaPan, but our school had other needs for our budget.  I didn’t give up hope.  I mentioned my interest to a parent from our PTG group after our mini-curriculum night at school.  About a week later, his son delivered a GigaPan Beta to my classroom!   This was such a surprise and I was so excited and thankful.  Now, I could start “stitching” my ideas together to create our school GigaPan project.  I had collaborated with our local Best Buy through a Best Buy Teach Award a couple of years ago, so I contacted the store  to see if they had a compatible camera. Best Buy generously donated one along with a 4GB memory card!  The school purchased the batteries with a charger and we already had a tripod and computer.  So,  we were ready to start GigaPanning!

I have a small Audio Visual team of middle school students at school and we learned how to set up the camera by watching Dr. Illah Nourbakhsh’s tutorials on YouTube.  The students learned so much and we got right to work and photographed our “Grand Canyon” bookshelves - similar to the bookshelf model used in Dr. Nourbakhsh’s tutorials.  We experimented with more GigaPanning throughout the year and learned a lot by trail and error. 

I took advantage of the opportunity to attend a hands-on GigaPan training at CMU on April 20, 2011. Tom, a seventh grade student who helps to train other students using the GigaPan, also attended with his mother.  This three hour session let by Clara Phillips was a great opportunity to review what we had been doing, get additional tips and tricks, share our successes with other GigaPanners, and ask questions.  Clara took her time demonstrating everything from setting up the camera and tripod to stitching and uploading the images to the GigaPan site.  She explained each step of the how to share GigaPans, take shapshots, benefits of tagging your photos, and placing them in Google Earth.  We also had the opportunity to take some GigaPans on site and share them.  The workshop was very well organized and it was a pleasure to be part of this class.  I also enjoyed meeting all the other attendees.

An added bonus to attending this workshop was meeting “Tank” the roboceptionist who directed us to the class when we entered the Newell-Simon Hall.  Thank you to CREATE Lab for all that you do for teachers, students, and the community!

Here is the animoto....

Zee Ann Poerio, Teacher
St. Louise de Marillac School