Marshall University Year-End GigaPan Celebration!

The June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development, part of Marshall University's College of Education and Human Services in Huntington, West Virginia held a year-end GigaPan celebration Monday, May 23.

The GigaPan camera is a simple robotic platform for capturing very high-resolution panoramic images with a standard digital camera. These images are then downloaded onto a computer, where the software stitches the pictures together to create a single navigable image.

Projects from the first of a two-year grant funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation were on display. The grant also enabled teachers to integrate innovative technology into existing curriculum. In addition, the project supported local and regional students to take GigaPan panoramic images of their communities and activities and share them with peers across the world.

Schools showcasing projects were from Marshall University Professional Development Partnership Schools and include Huntington High, Kellogg and Ceredo Elementaries, Vinson Middle, Cherry River Elementary in Nicholas County and Beverly Elementary in Randolph County.

Currently, students from the United States, Europe, Asia and South America are participating in the GigaPan School Dialogues project where they can upload, share and discuss GigaPan images (on secure, password protected site) and share them with others from around the world. In this way, they become knowledgeable about their own surroundings and understand and care about the problems their contemporaries face. GigaPan is a collaborative project between Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, with support from Google

Using GigaPan Edu in Southern Chile

Kelluwen is a project aimed to develop didactic experiences involving social web tools in schools under poverty in southern Chile. We are making pilots, twice a year, involving several schools from different cities in southern Chile. Now we are in the middle of our third pilot with a total of 31 didactic experiences (31 different classrooms) in 12 different schools (most located in Valdivia). Some of these classrooms are running special instructional designs using GigaPan Edu equipment and site.

Now there are 9 classrooms in two projects on The two projects are:
(password is required to view projects) 

"Fotografiando y construyendo nuestros espacios geográficos y entorno" (Taking photos and building our geographic space and environment) in which groups of students of different classrooms take panoramas of their own locations. 

"Te cuento mi cuento" (I tell you a Tale), in which, students from different schools play roles of a story read and represent them in a sort of static theater.

We hope our classrooms are taking gigapans and commenting them in the next weeks, so take a look if you want. Unfortunately, all project  descriptions and comments are only in spanish!

I want to mention that training sessions were specially tiring. Some of the teachers needs quite well and precise instructions and I realize that it would be necessary to split training program into two sessions: 1) set up equipment (camera and robot) and taking panoramas, 2) stitching, uploading and linking panoramas to the educational site. We have an specially trained assistant per teacher, but still we want to give schools teachers the opportunity of using the equipment (some of them showed special interest and we expect they go further with it). Also I wrote a guide (thank you Clara for base material) in spanish. I include it below.

Daniel Guerra
Intituto de Informática
Universidad Austral de Chile
Kelluwen Team

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