In my Digital Media class we create all kinds of neat products with technology. I recently had students create short stop-action animation videos using iPads.
Here are two recommended apps, both free.
StopAnimator (Easy, no frills)
OSnapLite (A few more options)
We were only able to have the iPads for part of a class period so students were given chenille sticks and a free slate for a quick story. In hindsight I would have encouraged a blank poster board or cloth for a backdrop.
This project was more about the experimentation and use of technology. I don't think it is a waste of time to do this. Students were thinking, troubleshooting, problem-solving, and working hard to figure out the best way to compose their videos.
Here are two of the videos my students created.
Students had a lot of fun. There is something about Stop-Animation videos and how they look that is different and engaging.