Many classes have harnessed the power iMovie to develop captivating videos in class. It has been the go-to technology tool in relaying information differently by way of vision and sound. Lizzie's religion classes have gone a step further though with digital film development; and have explored animation and stop-motion to allow for a fuller engagement in the scripture readings being studied in RE.
It is important that we explore further developments in the construction of multimedia to allow for richer and more in-depth understanding of the content studied. This includes:
- Stop-motion recording (allows students to produce text-based resources, which are then filmed as stop-motion on the screen)
- Animation recording (allows students to illustrate research and analysis; and then share this via video development)
- Time lapse recording
The students learnt a number of different filming techniques during the construction of their films; which subsequently strengthened their capacity to use technology in the classroom. For instance, students initially filmed their animations in portrait mode which cropped some of the scene. They then explored the filming of the subject in landscape; which produced fuller results of the image.
Why try animation or stop motion?
With the spectacular popularity of the stop motion animation kits with students, animation is getting easier and easier to do in the classroom and at home. But while the process is getting easier and cheaper, some teachers are a little torn over the use of animation in the classroom – lots love it but sometimes people feel it can be a time-consuming waste of precious classroom hours, with students spending a long time perfecting something that they don’t believe has huge educational value. In fact, there are fantastic concrete reasons to take advantage of the massive range of animation tools out there specifically for use in a teaching environment...
1. Communication Skills
The traditional pen and paper essay-writing format isn’t for every student. Animation is a brilliant and innovative new way to encourage children to communicate stories, ideas and concepts in a creative and original way. It can be particularly useful as a tool to encourage the creativity of students who find spelling and grammar a challenge, because it liberates them from the anxiety of always worrying about technicalities and enables them just to concentrate on the story instead. Domo is a great animation tool to encourage students to get started, as it provides a clear, colourful cartoon environment but also introduces ready-formed characters children can relate too, with their own personalities and habits, which give a helpful springboard to possible plot ideas. Another brilliant storytelling tool is Myths and Legends, which allows students to create animations for popular historical stories and myths, with the extra added bonus that they can also record a narration soundtrack to play over the top, adding a whole new level of creativity and communication practice! Teachers have to sign up first to create an account for students to use.