Creating a short clip using animation about how a cat stole a fish is certainly not what I expected to be doing in my first ICT input! However, it did introduce me to teaching ICT in a enjoyable, innovative and creative way. It did take it us a whole hour just to make a 20 second clip but working in a team and finding out exactly how to make an animation is something I very much enjoyed.
Teaching ICT in primary school is growing increasingly important as we are living in an expediential world where we are heavily reliant on digital technology. I can remember being at primary school and getting a 1 hour slot each week for ICT and that was it. We would spend our time learning to use Word, PowerPoint, etc. nothing nearly as innovative as animation. I don’t understand why, however, as children would love to learn about animation! Growing up I watched Wallace & Gromit which is an animation comedy series that still remains popular. In this respect children should be able to relate to animation as they may have tried Pivot themselves at home or watched Wallace & Gromit on television.
Pivot is a great way to introduce children to animation as with the right support from a teacher, they will easily pick up on the basic skills needed to create your own animation. Even if it’s just a few clips that tell a very short story, its a start and something they can grow on at home if they gain a real interest for animation. Through creating their very own animation on Zu3D in a group they can gain valuable teamwork skills.
Animation isn’t something that is widely taught in primary schools as some teachers may lack the knowledge or confidence needed. However, it shouldn’t be something teachers are afraid to do, as I learnt that it is a relatively easy task to implement in the classroom. Additionally it can be found in the Experiences and Outcomes for Technologies under stage 4: “I can use features of software to create my own animation which can then be used to create an animated sequence. TCH 4-09c”
Unfortunately, there are various barriers that teachers may face within the primary school. For example, if they are only given a short amount of time in the ICT suite a week, it can be very difficult to be able to fully educate pupils in animation. However, even if it’s just for a short period of time they can learn to use Pivot gradually throughout the year. Additionally, it could potentially be done in the classroom where there is one computer which would allow small groups to rotate using the computer each week to create their own short animation using Zu3D with the help of their teacher. This way, pupils will be able to slowly progress with their animation skills and gain the confidence and knowledge to explore animation more in their own time if they wish to do so. Furthermore, a simple and fun homework task to get them engaged could be to create their own animation booklet using just a paper and pen.
Animation is a great way to enhance a child’s creative skills in a fun and interactive way. There may be barriers that can prevent some schools from doing so, however, it’s always worth going the extra mile for the greater good of a child’s learning. After this input on animation, I feel I have the confidence to expand my knowledge in the topic which will hopefully make use of a child’s vast imagination in an innovative way.