Category Archives: Digital skills

Makin’ Movies

My first ICT workshop involved group work using the Zu3D software to create simple stop motion animations such as the one below.

This abstract piece set to Bernstein’s Mambo allowed us to play with the software and hardware to get a feel for the piece and imagine what it would be like from a learner’s perspective. Although we were able to create a satisfying result in under an hour, I still felt the whole experience was very rushed. I would imagine in the classroom, this is something that would need to built up to over time i.e. becoming familiar with the music, learning about the geometric shapes, investigating other animated features etc etc with the animation short forming the quantifiable result of a block of work.

Our second input saw us endeavour to portray a narrative with a ‘claymation’ approach building on our experiences with the Zu3D setup from the previous workshop. I can see how, like in the other Workshops, the scope of the outcomes for learners can be very broad. For example, we were developing not only our ability to engage with and evaluate technology, but also group working, story telling, using our imaginations and fine motor skills and so on. This involved cross-curricular skills such as planning and organising, utilising materials and tools and developing design skills.

Although the end result is terrific and I really enjoyed the Workshop, I still have reservations about using this exact lesson with primary classes. Using my own ability to critically analyse the technology I think there are far too many variables (ageing machines, usb drivers, fragile hardware, updates, glitches etc etc) which might make this unwieldy for a whole class to undertake at once. Perhaps this might be better suited to a lunchtime ‘Animation Club’ or similar with a dedicated workspace and perhaps 6 learners at a time. That said,¬† it was a fascinating session which illustrated very well how simply a fairly professional-looking little movie can be put together :oD.