Today I attended yet another useful ICT course. I was an animation Day and basically allowed us to explore and use some of the different pieces of kit and hardware out there. This was tied in with where could this be used in class.
First the curriculum side - The basic message is that animation can be used in lots of subjects, it is not an ICT only activity. (Though in an ICT session you could teach the skills needed.)
The limit is only how imaginative you want to be. Animation lends it self well to telling stories or explaining things. In science you could make a water cycle animation, in geography an animation to show cliff erosion, in history you could show what the ancient Greek Olympics where. The list is endless.
Literacy is where a lot of focus can be placed in the form of using animation to support story telling. Animation is a great example of a multimodal text, which is a flash way of saying a story with moving pictures and sound.
It is important to note at this point that children need a clear plan on their heads of what they are doing when animating, so using a storyboard is essential. This process requires children to think about what they want to do and then go back and edit it if needed.
Why use animation? The most obvious reason is motivation, animation is cool and exciting. But motivation links back to my post about Alan November, it has the scope to give children a much greater audience, by sharing their videos with other children and classes in school and with a wider audience by sharing their video's online, again only increases motivation. Animation also encourages collaboration as animation is not a solitary activity, it requires many people to get involved to get it just right. Children need to plan and then assign roles as to who is animating and who is recording, you might even have lighting and prop making.
On to the hardware and software - Over the course of the day we used. 2animate, Digiblue movie creator and Stop Motion Pro. We used Digiblue and Logitech cameras.
2Animate is a nice animation package that allows you to easily create, stop motion drawn animations. (Though I think you can use a webcam as well.) The animations save as an animated gif.
Despite past reservations of the Digiblue (I have experienced some annoying technical problems) they performed well on the day. The message I got is to keep them plugged in. Below is what me and Jack from Mossford Green created. We where very pleased with the end result.
We continued exploring stop motion, but moved on to use Stop Motion Pro and played around with choma key, which is basically green or blue screen. It took a while to set up but the results where exciting. Below is the video. (I will be updating it with sound later.) Just so you know the image of the town hall is what as added using the chroma key. The background was green really.
Stop motion animation was great fun, but very time consuming so keep that in mind when planning to use it, it might be a few weeks work.
Overall the day was great fun and really allowed us all to explore the software and hardware, so now we are all much more confident using it in school.