The 21-Tech initiative has allowed me as a Discovery Guide to push myself further on how much information I can process and share with each visitor I encounter.- Odis Garrett, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a bridge between our museum guides and the visitors in that it creates connections between educational concepts and the real world.- Shawn Waxali, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech has helped Discovery Guides engage visitors by extending their experience through the apps and applying it to the exhibits.- Ian Tibby, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a way of ‘hiding the vegetables in the fruit’ where the kids do not realize they are learning, but instead having fun and being fed knowledge that intrigues their minds.- Lauren Bell, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech provides a new outlet for our Discovery Guides to interact with the visitors in a way that further enhances their experience and makes the visit overall extra enjoyable.- Sylvia Garcia, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide

iMotion HD

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App Description: iMotion HD is a Photo and Video app for two types of photography: stop motion animation (manual) and time lapse. After selecting the option New Movie, you can choose to use either of the two techniques. The Time Lapse technique enables you to take photos at intervals ranging from .5 seconds to one day. This technique accelerates movement that is otherwise slow to capture such as painting a picture, climbing a rock wall etc. You can also customize the interval time to take photos using the Stop Motion function which allows you to take pictures of objects at different positions. This creates a video that animates the object as if it is moving on its own. However you can share or export a finished video through email and direct YouTube upload only by upgrading to the full paid version of this app.

How We Use It: At the Children’s Museum of Houston, we use this app at multiple exhibit components that focus on a process of some kind. For example, we use the Stop Motion technique at the Giant Arch exhibit to take pictures of a group building the arch block by block. We also use this app at Invention Convention to capture the skill building process of creating Lego cars and testing their speed and sustenance on an obstacle course. At the same exhibit, this app is used to document the process of making paper airplanes and testing them in the Launch Cage or inventing a ball track at the Widget Wall. In addition, we have used Stop Motion Animation as part of the Inventor’s Workshop to engage young animators in creating a movie using figurines through the process of story boarding, scene creation, props, picture capturing, movie editing, production and sharing. Our facilitators have also used the app at PowerPlay to record a child trying to maintain his balance at Snow/Surf as well as recording visitors climbing the Mt. Boulder rock climbing wall.

Our facilitators share the videos with the visitors and ask questions about the challenges the visitors had during the activity. They use the videos to discuss the process of the activity, how it was accomplished as well as where the visitors need improvement. For example, at the Mt. Boulder rock climbing wall, the visitors use the videos to see where they struggled and what they need to do climb the wall more effectively.

Museum Recommending: Children’s Museum of Houston
Platform Used: iPad2 (iOS)  
Cost: Basic – Free; Full version – $1.99
Link: iMotion HD

Bridging Documents: The Giant Arch


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Project Brief

21-Tech partners study and share the effective use of Personal Mobile Technologies (PMTs) by gallery facilitators in their work with visitors. The initial three years (2011-2013) of 21-Tech are funded in large part by a 21st Century Museum Professionals award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project is led by the Children’s Museum of Houston in partnership with Lawrence Hall of Science, New York Hall of Science, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and Sciencenter. For more information, please visit the About page.

Major funding provided by:

Additional support provided by: