Session 3: Animation

OK, I’m gonna go ahead and say it: This session was awesome!

I know – not very academic of me, but the rest of my blog doesn’t seem to be reading that way, so why upset the style?

Session 3 was on Animation. And yes, it was awesome. We learnt how to play around with some software called “MonkeyJam”, which, for a Media nerd like myself, didn’t really look too difficult to handle. It wasn’t, and I had a lot of fun playing around with it.

Joint with my partner in crime, Fabi Reid, we produced this box-office blowout:

I know what you’re thinking: incredible. A masterpiece. A work of art.

But, seriously. MonkeyJam is an easy-to-use bit of software that could be used to make a visual stimulus or teaching point for children. In fact, children themselves could useit for educational purposes within ICT or across the curriculum.

Obviously, you would have to consider the level which the children are at according to their ability, as it may be quite difficult for children to a) come up with a creative idea to animate or b) work out how to use the program altogether. With use of the TA, children of lower ability will, potentially, find using the program easier, but still, the creativity issue remains. I think what could be a good idea is to link this lesson to English and have an activity where the children create a storyboard which they can animate using MonkeyJam with a model they are given. Giving the children a model to write a storyboard around will help stimulate them. It could be a good idea to start off these children with a template to base their ideas around – dependent on what Key Stage they are in, of course! Children of a higher ability will need freedom to explore MonkeyJam’s possibilities, so a template won’t be as necessary.

The possibilities are truly endless with MonkeyJam, and I personally will be using it to its full potential in schools I work at in the future.

Oh, and the fact that it’s free makes it even better. I’ve played around with Adobe Dreamweaver and that program is definitely not worth the money you have to fork out for it these days. Daylight robbery.

Outside of session, I did some of the reading set for us in our ICT booklet. I read up on this idea of ‘This Exquisite Forest’ which is a project by Google and Tate: Exquisite Forest The idea is for people to add an animation to the tree so that each builds on each other by using the ideas from the people before. It’s actually fascinating looking at each animation, then seeing it’s current ‘end product’. The idea is incredible and I really think it could inspire children’s creativity if used in an Art or ICT lesson.

Another thing that caught my eye in the reading was this article:

Cool article link.

Now, I know I can certainly be considered as a ‘techie’ teacher, and this article is music to my ears. If only other teachers could feel the same! Technology is a huge part of our lives now – it is used in almost every aspect of our day to day routine and we depend on it more than we’d like to think. Personally, I am interested to see whether the pencil will be overruled by the keyboard now, considering every where is trying to ‘go digital’, and people are dropping their pencils when they leave school, to begin typing for the rest of their careers.

Reading this article made me think, ‘how could I integrate technology into my classroom – without it getting in the way of other important skills, like fine motor, and, the most obvious, writing?’. My problem is finding the balance. I would love to use my video camera and video editing skills to produce wonderful stimulus and work from the children every lesson. I would also love to use iPads to their full extent, too – (though I know they are a little too expensive for most schools). I just have to find out a way of doing this appropriately, whilst not forgetting the old ways of learning too. As is a common quote from James Bond’s Skyfall: “The old ways are sometimes the best.”

(Sorry – fiancé bought the DVD a few days ago and watched it last night. But it’s relevant.)

Anyway; to summarise!

1) Animation is cool

2) Technology is a real advantage to teacher when integrated and used appropriately in lessons

3) James Bond quotes are often relevant to make a point

4) I tend to babble on

Sayonara.

Jaz~

2 thoughts on “Session 3: Animation”

  1. I am really impressed with your animation, and think that children in a classroom situation would really benefit from having the opportunity and guidance to create something similar – even something far more simple. Creativity for the individual is so important, and some huge learning to be done in this instance, at the most basic level just gaining more confidence in using software/computers.

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