I was just surfing the web today when I dropped by freeverse.com. You may know about this company because of the wonderful games that they make. I was just perusing their applications when I found Periscope. This Mac-only software ($40) is billed as the "next generation of web camp software." I don't know if it is the next generation, but it is truly unique.
Periscope is primarily designed as a surveillance tool. It will enable you to monitor a room by taking a photo when it sees motion, hears sound, or at timed intervals. I am not too sure how to use the surveillance tool in the classroom, but imagine using this to create time-lapsed photography to study processes. The greatest part was that all of these photos can be sent to your e-mail, .Mac web page, or FTP site, and can even be uploaded to Flickr!
Ideas for time-lapsed photography: Watch a bean pod grow over a week (set it to click every 6 hours); Study the shadows as the sun progresses across the sky (point the camera out the window and click every 10 minutes); or Watch a geranium flower bloom over two hours (click every 7 minutes).
Stop Motion Animation: I was struck with the possibilities for creating my own stop motion animation. I set it up using the iSight camera built into my MacBook. I wasn't very imaginative, but I created this Roaming Jax video.
True, there are other programs that are designed for creating stop motion animation, like Frames by Tech4Learning. Frames was created specifically to make stop motion animation simple for kids, but I will have to review that at another time.