On the 19th of February, we had a lesson in animation and how it could be used within the classroom. Firstly, we had to educate ourselves with the different types of animation which exist. We looked over the ‘Moving Image Education’ website which enabled us to find out that animation can be split into 5 categories:
- Cut out
(Moving image Education, nd)
I feel that it was important for me to do this research as it allowed me to find out both the pros and cons of each type. This means that I could apply the best suited animation task in a classroom setting as this could vary depending on circumstances such as time frame, stage and resources available.
I then had to familiarise myself with different animation apps that are available. I first looked at an app called Puppet Pals. I played around with this app for a while and soon realised that although it was straight forward to use, it was very restricted in the content that you could create. I therefore think that this app may not be the best for use in the classroom as it would be limited in the learning outcomes which could be covered in terms of presenting prior knowledge and the children may become frustrated as they may struggle with what is available to them in making their vision a reality.
I then explored another app called iStop Motion. I joined with another member of my class as we embarked on our task of creating a short animation using a bendy figure, in order to familiarise ourselves with how the app works. To begin with we watched a tutorial on how to get started and from then on, the app was straight forward to use. However, the creation of the animation was not without its struggles. One issue we faced was ensuring that the background was in proportion to the bendy figures. In order to fix this issue for the following week we decided that we would prepare all our backgrounds by hand prior to coming to class.
I feel that as a teacher it is important to familiarise yourself with the technologies you are using as it will allow you the confidence necessary to deliver this to a class to the best of your ability, which will therefore give the pupils the best chance at success. This is further backed by Beauchamp who states that “Although teachers may be worried by new technologies… we need to be sure that this is not transmitted to young children” (Beauchamp, 2012).
I feel this also means that as teachers we cannot let our worries of new technologies limit the learning within our classroom. Animation can provide a basis for deeper understanding as it can increase the visual representation which an individual has, it can be used to visualise different processes and provide an element of interactivity (Jarvis, 2015).
At the end of this week’s class we were made aware of our task for the following week, to make our own animation, so that we could plan and therefore make best use of our time. My partner and I decided to go with the stimulus of an historical event. Upon further research we then decided that our animation was going to tell the story of the moon landing as we felt this was something that could be easily completed within the time frame which we would have. Once this had been decided we then needed to decide on what type of animation we were going to use. It is stated by Moving Image Education that “Cut out animation is one of the quickest and easiest ways of creating animation” (Moving Image Education, n.d.). From finding this information we decided that this would be the best option for us. It also meant that we could draw out our character and backgrounds as we liked, so there were very minimal creative restrictions.
One benefit to working in a group was that we had varied skills between us. I was able to organise a list and plan of the things that we needed, and my partner was able to use her artistic skills to make these a reality.
When arriving to class the following Tuesday we were ready to start creating our animation straight away. We quickly started setting out our backgrounds and placing the characters in the correct place. We soon realised that we had to use blue tack to stick down the corners of our cut outs to endure that they laid flat, therefore improving the look of our final product.
One challenge which we faced was ensuring that the cameras angle and height was the same throughout. We had to keep comparing the previous picture to the one after and re take numerous shots. Upon reflection if this issue I feel that if I was to lead a task like this in the classroom, I would ensure that the pupils had tripods.
From participating in this task, I can easily pick out several aspects of the curriculum which an activity like this would cover throughout both the planning and implementing stage. For example.
- When listening and talking with others for different purposes, I can exchange information, experiences, explanations, ideas and opinions, and clarify points by asking questions or by asking others to say more. LIT 1-09a
- I am learning to use my notes and other types of writing to help me understand information and ideas, explore problems, generate and develop ideas or create new text. LIT 1-25a
- Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts. TCH 1-02a
(Scottish Government, n.d.)
Due to this, I feel that this would be a great task to set a class. Now that I have participated in these inputs, I believe that I would feel confident in implementing this in a classroom setting.
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.
Moving Image Education website. [Online] https://movingimageeducation.org/create-films/animation [Accessed: 21st February 2019]
Moving Image Education website. [Online] https://movingimageeducation.org/create-films/animation/cutout [accessed on 19th February 2019]
Jarvis, M. (2015) Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Classroom: A Very practical Guide for Teachers and Lecturers. Routledge.
Scottish Government (n.d.) Curriculum for Excellence. [pdf] Available at: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/All-experiencesoutcomes18.pdf [Accessed on 28th February 2019]