Today’s session was the second animation workshop. However, as I missed a previous session due to weather conditions this workshop was also a catch-up session for those who missed previous assessment tasks. Therefore, due to this my group and I created our animation out-with university. Despite this we still gained a lot of valuable skills and information regarding the benefits of using animation as a learning tool within the classroom.
As mentioned in last week’s blog, my group and I decided to create our animation on volcanoes using the istopmotion app. We decided last week we wanted to also include fun, interesting facts on volcanoes within the video to make it both educational and interactive. As well as creating our animation we evaluated the skills we used and developed while working as a team and deepened our understanding of how animation can enhance children’s learning within the classroom.
To create our animation, we decided we were going to use paper mache as it is a creative activity which I think children would love! Throughout the week, we purchased the necessary materials and began to create our animation. I must admit, it was a lot harder and more complex than it looked! Trying to get the camera in a good position where everything could be seen and keeping it in that position was the first problem we faced.
Once we felt comfortable with our positioning, we began to create our animation. We started with a bottle of coke that we built the paper mache around as by the end of the animation our aim was to put mentos in the coke, giving the impression of the volcano erupting.
We worked efficiently as a team of three and ensured all roles were equally shared as there was a lot we had a lot to do. One person was building the paper mache, another person was looking up interesting facts while another person was creating the animation by taking a picture for each movement. Occasionally, we would alternate tasks to ensure everyone got the chance to do each. Creating the animation proved relatively difficult as we didn’t know how many pictures to take as the process of making the paper mache was quite long and complex. After looking at examples on moodle and YouTube videos relating to animation, we soon realised in order to have a successful animation you must take photos of every movement, despite how long it would take. The process was time consuming but we got there in the end! After carrying out this task I do believe a task like this within the classroom children would love. It is also a chance for them to develop skills such as problem solving. We related this task to the following experiences and outcomes:
- I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. TCH 1-01a
Although our group received positive feedback from both peers and our lecturer, we do feel there was room for development. I believe we could have been more prepared for this task, as when it came to making our animation we still weren’t sure how we were going to do certain things. Preparation is a skill which is fundamental as a teacher and I do believe this is something I have improved and gained valuable tips on throughout the course so far.
When reflecting on the process of creating our animation and the skills we used while working as a team. Communication was a skill that was crucial. Working as a team can sometimes be stressful, however with effective communication it limits the chances of mistakes being made and frustration being caused.
Another key skill which I believe was essential for this task was listening. It is so important, when working as a team to listen to everyone’s thoughts and ideas and to help one and other in order to achieve the best final product. Personally, as a team we listened to everyone’s ideas and managed to take bits from each person in order to achieve a final product we were all equally happy with.
There were 3 people in my group, which I believe was a good number of people to work with as someone always had a role to carry out. Reflecting on this task I believe any more than three people would have been quite stressful at times. In a classroom setting, for an activity like this, I would make a maximum group size of 3 people to ensure everyone is involved. It is often easy for children in a big group to lose focus and interest which results in them sitting back and letting others do the work.
Overall, I really enjoyed this task and believe that I benefited from it. I believe animation is an effective tool that helps to engage pupils. It also allows children to work effectively as a team and develop both their communication and listening skills. As a developing student teacher, this is a learning tool I will be eager to include throughout lessons.
Education Scotland. (n.d.) Curriculum for Excellence.[Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/All-experiencesoutcomes18.pdf [Accessed: 22nd March 2019]