Our younger generations are enveloped in technology. It is everywhere around them and continues to evolve regularly.
The first question, which I am going to discuss is, how does technology help diminish problems for pupils with learning difficulties and in particular, animation? “E-Inclusion aims to use digital technologies to minimise problems that pupils with learning difficulties experience” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.55). We can admit that pupils feel more comfortable and focused when it comes to the screen since it has this ‘hooking’ affect which can cause them to become engrossed for hours on end; even older generations can see why children admire it fondly. The other reason and the most important one is that it is a part of their everyday life, hence, why they do not categorize technology as a different ‘subject’ (Beauchamp, 2012).
As my group was carrying out our tsunami animation I could see why it could build the confidence for those with learning difficulties. Some children prefer to work with their friends or on a new project which fascinates them. Even though it is a time-consuming process, using sound and video should be able to magnify information processing and secure the learning which the pupils are experiencing (Jarvis, 2015). In my own opinion, I believe that animation is exciting since you are able to create something new and have fun whilst carrying out this procedure. It is also beneficial for the pupils who are shyer in the class as it gives them another way to communicate their ideas. This alone, is a great way to build their confidence not just in the short-term but will have effects in the long-term also (MovieStormLTd, 2011).
To start off our animation we delegated each of our tasks between the five who were in our group – this allowed us to have a structure during the process of our animation. The materials that we used (having organised this beforehand) included:
• Tissue Paper
• Cocktail sticks
• Coloured paper
• Coloured pens
• Cotton Wool
• Lego figures
• Lego helicopter
As we begun creating the scene, it seemed like the animation itself would run smoothly and would not give us any problems. However, we felt like our animation did not have a good flow since it was ‘laggy’ at parts. This made us feel like we were not doing the animation correctly and learned from the other groups that you must take as many photos of the movement as possible; even if it does take longer than anticipated. Our final product was still admired by our class but we felt like there was room for improvement due to having struggled during the stages of making the animation. Personally, my group and I felt as though the area that we made the animation caused difficulty to be around our setting. If we were to do an animation again we would use a cardboard box for example, so that our animation was in a set space making it more flexible for us to move our scene. Even though the points that I have discussed were negative, I still feel as though we have accomplished something. We were successful when thinking of our ideas and coming together as a team even when it was not going to plan. Below is the animation which we created:
Our animation was a challenge but we got there in the end and created something which portrays why we should use animation within a classroom. Personally, I feel like pupils will be able to engage in ways they never knew they could and will realise, like our group did, that not everything works out the way you may have wanted it to at the beginning. It will also set them up for problem solving since they will need to come together as a group and patiently work through this task. Our tsunami animation was inspired by the film ‘The Impossible’ leading the following outcomes to suit best for our animation:
• I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. TCH1-1a
• I can recognise basic properties and uses for a variety go materials and can discuss which ones are most suitable for a given task. TCH2-10a
• I can extend and enhance my design skills to solve problems and construct models. TCH2 -09
Overall, I feel like animation will be beneficial in a classroom since it will encourage pupils to work with each other but could also be seen as something that may cause conflict within the class. As a growing student teacher, I believe that if I were to do animation with my class I would do it as a project so that the full class were not only working as smaller groups but also together as a class. This would mean that each group would do a section each and in result the whole class will have created the animation together. This could also promote inclusion within my class since all pupils will be taking part. ICT will allow my class to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.54). By giving the class the chance to create their own animation and feeling like they have achieved something is what I aim for; allowing them to feel successful with themselves.
In a classroom, we can use animation to enhance learning as well as give the pupils a chance to improve on other skills like their problem solving as well as their team working skills. For teachers, it can also build their confidence since they may not use technology as much as our digital natives would (Prensky, 2001). “Although teachers may be worried by new technologies… we need to be sure that this is not transmitted to young children, or that other obstacles are not put in the way of their natural curiosity and willingness to explore new technologies” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.66). In terms of my own confidence throughout this experience I feel like this quote is something which I can relate to. The reason for this is at the beginning of this session I had disbelief that our animation would work due to all the difficulties we faced with the app and simply having lack of experience using it. However, I do agree with Beauchamp as I now feel more confident after having completed today’s task. In the future, I hope to continue to develop my ICT skills within this department so that I can use this in a lesson as I did enjoy creating the animation.
• Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Pearson.
• MoviesLTD. (2007) Using animation in schools. [Online]http://cloud.moviestorm.co.uk/edu/Using%20Animation%20in%20Schools%20-%20A%20practical%20handbook%20for%20teachers.pdf [Accessed: 27th February]
• Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.MCB University Press.