During our workshop today we were filming our animations that we had planned from last week. Our animation was based on equivalent fractions and fraction walls.
Before coming to the workshop, I had spent time creating the background for our animation. Even though I am not the most artistic person I thought I would take on the role to try and challenge myself. I was happy with the end result as it looked bright and eye catching once set up. Setting up the background caused a few problems as we hadn’t considered how wide the frame would be, but we fixed the problem by filling in the background with white paper and some bluetac. A box might have been a better option to use as it meant the set up would have been surrounded, this is something I would try If I was in a classroom setting.
Once we were in our group, we tipped out the Lego onto the table to see what we had to work with. Looking back on this, this is something that we could have improved on as we hadn’t really thought about what Lego bricks would be best to bring. This meant that at some points we were too short of a type of Lego brick and it also ate into some of our filming time. If I was to do something similar in the future, I would ensure that I had the correct amount of Lego bricks to make different things. Once we had figured out what bricks we could use to explain our fractions we started to make the labels and words for the animation. That was one disadvantage to the iStopmotion app because it didn’t have the facility to add text onto the video meaning everything had to be handwriting, however it didn’t affect the end product.
For filming we decided to split the roles as we thought that it would be easier if one person was to film because it allowed for the camera to be kept in the same position, meaning we would have a smoother finished product. We started our animation with a small introduction, introducing what we were going to be learning about. After, we started to slowly introduce the different sized blocks that represented different fractions. This took a lot of time and patience because you had to move each block a small inch then take a photo. I could feel myself getting slightly impatient and wishing there was a quicker way to do it. Also, as a group we had to take a brake because we all got slightly frustrated as we couldn’t see the end. However, I am glad we persisted with it and didn’t rush it as the end product was great.
Bertrancourt (2005) suggests three ways in which animation can be used to enhance learning:
- To enhance learners’ visual representations.
- To illustrate processes.
- To provide an interactive element.
(Jarvis, 2015, p.92)
I strongly agree with Bertrancourt as I believe our animation displayed all three of these features. Our animation video would fit well into a first level fraction lesson on equivalent fractions. We found three main outcomes that the children could work on
- Through taking part in practical activities including use of pictorial representations, I can demonstrate my understanding of simple fractions which are equivalent.
Through the animation it will also expand children’s knowledge in other areas of the curriculum:
- Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts.
- I can use exploration and imagination to solve design problems related to real-life situations.
This once again displays how digital technologies can bring more areas if the curriculum to a lesson.
Once we had finished our animation, we decided to add audio to make it more interesting and engaging. When we had all finished our animations we peer-assessed another group and gave feedback. Through feedback we discovered that many people thought our animation was smooth and was clear to understand. This made my group and I feel like all our hard work was worth it. There are many benefits to peer-assessing and asking others how they achieved something as we can all learn from each other, plus it encourages children due to their work being commended.
Through working in our groups to create an animation we discovered that there are many skills required and seen why incorporating this into a classroom would be good to develop children’s skills. Some of the skills we identified were:
- Team work
- Problem solving
This displays how valuable animation can be in developing a child’s skills as many are developed at the one time. Furthermore, animation in the classroom allows children that would not have the opportunity to experience animation the chance to. This works in line with the Scottish Governments goal of ensuring all children gain the same experiences and tackling the Attainment Gap (Scottish Government, 2016). Animation also allows children to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.54) as they are having to use they would have to think logically on how to make something most of them have never done before.
Overall, I really enjoyed learning about animation and getting the chance to make our own. I believe that it could be a fun and valuable tool in teaching, however due to the lengthy making process I understand that it could not be used every day as it would take up too much time. Furthermore, today’s workshop has made me more confident in using animation and I feel confident that I will use it in future lessons. This would be beneficial as it is found that if teachers display nerves towards a piece of digital technology it can be passed to the children stopping their exploration (Beauchamp, 2012).
Here is our animation video:
Next week we are looking at games based learning in the classroom.
- Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.
- Jarvis, M. (2015) Brilliant Ideas for Using ICT in the Classroom: A Very practical Guide for Teachers and Lecturers. Routledge.
- Scottish Government. (2016) Enhancing Learning And Teaching Through The Use of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning And Teaching Strategy For Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government