Session 3: Digital Images and Animation: Skills and Techniques

During this session we explored stop motion animation techniques using cameras, music, backgrounds and props such as lego and playmobile along with MonkeyJam animation software. We were given a brief introduction to the software and were then left to experiment with it and explore its features. After setting up a web cam with which you can take your pictures, the idea is to take a series of photos, slighty moving the characters in each, so that they look to be moving when you run the photos together. In order to produce an short 20-30 second animation you have to take around 300 photos! Once your animation has been created it can then be made to look more professional by adding music using Windows Movie Maker. Unfortunately my stop motion animation didn’t save properly 🙁 so I’m unable to share it with you but I thought I would share my friend Debbie’s great little Christmas themed animation as it gives you a good idea of the kind of things that can be produced using the MonkeyJam software- Check it out at the bottom of the post!

The MonkeyJam software is a really great resource and would make an excellent alternative presentation tool to use in the classroom with upper Key Stage 2 children or more able lower Key Stage 2 children however younger or less able students may struggle to sequence their pictures to create an animation unless they were particularly well supported. Another positive feature is that the software is free to use however be warned; it does take a bit of practise to master and can be very time consuming!

We’re still only 3 sessions in but I’m starting to feel much less like a fish out of water and I am beginning to really look forward to both our sessions and blogging in general. I definitely feel like I have already learnt lots and have found many websites, blogs, wikis and resources that will be brilliant for my next placement. I thought that I would share a couple of the most useful ones I’ve discovered: ICT Magic is a vast directory listing websites that provide free resources to use in lessons along with tools to assist with classroom displays and advice on classroom management and reward systems! I have also really enjoyed reading Miles Berry’s blog “An Open Mind” where he gives his insight and opinions on recent developments in ICT in education.

Bye for now….

Top Image Attribution: By iEARN-USA and licensed for reuse under a Craetive Commons 2.0 License.

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