Animation is a popular and useful classroom topic that links well to areas beyond ICT, most obviously art and literacy but also to less obvious aspects such as science.

A simple, and relatively inexpensive package for producing Animated GIFs is 2Animate which can produce images such as the following.


This animation can then be embedded in blog posts, put into PowerPoint Presentations and more.




Stickfigures can be animated with the wonderful PivotSticks, a free download. The results can be impressive as illustrated by this YouTube Video

We can also use tools to create stop Frame animations in schools, one free and effective tool is Monkey Jam. A free tutorial is available here.



Appropriate Images and Internet Safety

It is a long standing feature of any discussion on use of images in the classroom that Google Image searches should not be carried out in the classroom in front of children unless the teacher has checked that the results are not inappropriate. Examples such as Rabbit (not just the mammals), Prince Albert (not just Queen Victoria’s husband) and most girls names (having a naked on-line presence) have been discussed.

One aspect that is discussed less often though is the nature of copyright – it is not appropriate to use images in teaching materials that are not owned by you or licensed for your use. Fortunately more and more people are happy to  share access to their materials though a ‘Creative Commons’ licence. One simple way of finding these is to use the ‘Anvanced Search’ option on Google Images and then select ‘Free to use or Share’ under the ‘Usage Rights’ category.

Other aspects of internet safety can be addressed through the CEOP site and ‘ThinkuKnow Site’  There are also a comprehensive set of links in this Sqorl set from Helen.