The session this week in Digital Technologies was animation and how this can impact pupils learning within your future classroom. Animation was something that I had never came across before up until this session today. In this session our task was to create and complete a short animation based on a historic event. This was a great opportunity to work as a team and bring our creativity to life.
Looking at animation alone is a huge topic which can create many new opportunities for young people to gain skills that they possibly haven’t came across before. Jarvis mentions that animation is made up of piecing together frozen pictures and making it look like the pictures are moving by the slight movements you make between each take of the video you’re creating (Jarvis, 2015,p89).
Animation falls under many terms. In total there are five main types of animation. These may include:
- Cut out ~ Quickest and easiest to use
- Stop-motion ~ Plasticine models
- Pixillation ~ Humans become the puppets
- Computer~ Also can be known as CGI and can be found in games or movies
In relation to teaching animation within the classroom, it can be seen as a very good opportunity for pupils to try something new. Animation would teach pupils how to work together in order to work as a team and be able to establish what their animation would look like by putting all their creative ideas together in order to end up with a completed animation.
Jarvis again highlights that animation is a great form of technology that allows pupils to test their imagination and creativity. Benefits mentioned by Jarvis are things such as to allow learners to have a better visual representation, to be able to demonstrate how they got to the completed version of their animation and to be able to get involved with other class mates whilst concluding the task (Jarvis, 2015,p92)
When doing some further research on the possible benefits and disadvantages animation could have on pupils if I were to use it in my classroom I came across an article which indicated to me that there are more benefits for animation than there are disadvantages. One benefit that stood out most for me was how animation could enhance pupils communication skills within the classroom. This is due to the fact that pupils would need to sit down together and negotiate their animations and figure out how it would all work out and which image would go first etc. It also allows pupils with a strong dislike for a subject such as literacy, for example, to be fully engaged in the task without even having to think about writing or being grammatically correct (Bates, 2017)
In my opinion, I believe that if young people were to use this form of technology it could also cause some disadvantages. Due to how animation works and how you can complete the final version can take a long period of time and can be quite time consuming within a classroom. This can be quite difficult for certain pupils as they can become quite frustrated by how long the task will actually take to complete and also if they run out of class time they then become frustrated that they have not had the opportunity to finalise their tasks. Animation could also create arguments with pupils working in a small group as some peoples ideas may not be taken on board and used and also some people may sit back and allow the others to do their work for them.
During week 7 our task was to complete a story board based on a historic event and decide which type of animation our group would like to use. Our chosen historic event was the “Moon landing”. We started planning our story board out and decided which type of animation was best to use in this particular event. Our group decided to go with cut out after doing some research on the different types of animation and we chose the one which was recommended to beginners as none of us had actually came across animation nor had we used it before. According to Moving Image Education, cut out was the easiest of the five types of animation to begin with (Moving Image Education Website).
Our story board consisted of the astronaut getting on the rocket, landing on the moon, getting back on the rocket and then landing back down again. Using the storyboard to plan our animation was a great idea as it allowed our group to talk about what exactly we wanted to do and how to go about it. It allowed us to split the animation into sections and tackle which bit was easier to do first etc and it also allowed use to see which materials we were going to need to use in the following week.
On week 8 we managed to pull our animation of the astronaut landing on the moon together and we were very pleased by the final product! We managed to add sound to our animation and it made it even more effective as it just gave that little something more making it more engaging for our peers. Here is our groups short animation below!
Whilst working on our animation it was great to work as a team because it allowed you to use all our creativity and imagination rather than working individual and getting a poorer end result as I’m not the artistic type! Working in a group really allowed us to sit back and take in everyones ideas and opinions into account before going ahead with the final product. It gave us a chance to see which parts of the animation could work together and which couldn’t.
There was only two disadvantages that our group came across throughout the whole animation making session. One was that there were difficulties with camera angles and the lighting we used as they weren’t always the same depending on which way the person with camera was standing at the time. Another difficulty we faced was that due to animation being all based on still pictures we had to slow the speed right down so they we could make out what the astronaut was actually doing at certain times.
I would definitely use animation within the classroom as I really enjoyed the session and I felt as the sessions went on I was getting a better understanding of it as a whole and was beginning to understand how it all worked and came together in the end. At times it did become quite frustrating because it took a long while to complete but it was a great opportunity to test something new and come out at the end actually to enjoy it and wanting to do it all over again! Animation is an outstanding form of technology that can get everyone and of all ages involved and engaged as it is a fun activity to do but alongside it comes a lot of educational skills that pupils can learn for the future lives.
Jarvis, M. (2015) Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Classroom: A Very Practical Guide for Teachers and Lecturers. Routledge
Moving Image Education Website : [Online] Available : https://movingimageeducation.org/create-films/animation [Accessed : 19th February 2019]
Bates, L. (2017) 5 Real Benefits of Animation in the Classroom. [Online] Available: https://www.fractuslearning.com/animation-in-the-classroom/. [Accessed: 7th April 2019]