by Paulina Hernandez
Expert Educator Columnist, Mexico
Today I’d like to tell you about the use of animation as a learning method in education.
In recent school years I have been working with projects where animation is concern. I have learned with my students about all the good work that it takes, so today I can say that it is an excellent method of learning that goes along with the use of ICT.
Why it is an excellent method for learning?
To make a meaningful learning about any subject when we teach we must ENGAGE our students. Make an animation with them is a project that involves many factors including: Thinking something to transmit, create a story, characters, conclusion, etc. If we add the use of cameras, use of software for editing video and audio. And once they finish it, they can share it in the web. With this we are talking about a project that itself is an ICT-based product.
How does it work?
There are several types of animations but are mainly divided into two: traditional animation and computer animation, the last one being more for professional use. The one I have used and recommended for students who are starting is the traditional animation.
This type of animation use stop motion technique, frame by frame or picture by picture. This is move a character a little bit and take photo, move again the character a little bit and another picture … and so on.
Usually this animations are made with clay characters or drawings on paper or on whiteboard or even people (Pixelization tecnique) … etc.
How to apply animation in class?
Let’s suppose you are teaching about water care, so you can work with teams by making a small animation, to transmit a message for awareness in society about the care of water. First develop a small story, think of the characters, the materials that would be required and get to work, to take pictures with their phones, they don’t need the ultimate camera.
The more pictures you take the better the animation will be. After this, they will put all their photos in movie maker software to play them all, one after one which will give the sensation of movement and they will start to see that the animation will comes to life. Once they’ve done that and be all ready in movie maker they can add music and if they are more adventurous they can add audios with recorded voices.
How many pictures do an animation needs?
The perception of vision handles 24 frames per second and the closer you are to take 24 pictures to reproduce in a second the best, although animations don’t use that much frames, so hey don’t freak out.
For a school animation 6 or 8 frames per second is enough to look good, but will rely on group of students you have, if they sometimes handle a large number it will be tedious, so my advice is to let them take the pictures that they believe necessary , accordant to their observation on their animations they can decide whether they should take more or if it looks good enough.
To make an animation project, you do not need to have many technical knowledge, it takes to have imagination and effort. Trust me it’s great when they see their creation comes to life, so If you dare and try it with your class, tell me how it went.