Stop Motion Animation in Education – An exciting learning tool for all ages!

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Stop Motion Animation in Education - An exciting learning tool for all ages!Stop Motion Animation in Education – An exciting learning tool for all ages! by Mark Peterson

In more recent years a certain Nick Parks reinvigorated 3d animation with his Wallace and Gromit characters. This form of 3D animation is often referred to as Claymation or Clay Animation. While Nick was not the first by any means to introduce claymation it certainly brought in back in to mainstream entertainment. In 1912 one of the first claymation movies using stop motion was released to great critical acclaim. It was called “Modeling Extraordinary”. In 1916, the first female animator, Helena Smith Dayton, began experimenting with clay stop motion. She released her first film in 1917, Romeo and Juliet.

Claymation in School

The introduction of computers to schools at all levels has brought the art of stop motion animation and claymation software within reach of all students. The prevalence of inexpensive stop motion animation software allows the student and teacher to become active participants in ICT that is both creative and more alive than ever before.

In general while students have good basic ICT skills and an interest in technology. ICT is not as integrated a component of a school curriculum as it should be. ICT is often judged as having a narrow focus, emphasising the tool rather than the curriculum or learning outcomes.

With 3D stop motion animation claymation and the right stop motion software activities can combine a number of ICT methodologies. For example “audio documentary creation”, “storyboarding” and “audio soundtrack creation” are all used with animation to create a coherent end result. Evidence from a wide range of schools participating in claymation animation projects observe students successfully bringing a numberous aspects of ICT together to complete projects.

The projects require students to cooperate in small teams.

From a teachers perspective they acknowledge their own skills and confidence improves in ICT in general. Teachers also recognise a significant increased student engagement throughout the animation project.

What were the outcomes and what have students learned from such animation projects? Among a number of key outcomes were an increased level of ICT skills and appreciation of integrating a number of tools to complete a task. Also students gained a deeper understanding of the ways in which ICT and creative thinking can be integrated in to the broader curriculum. No longer were computers seen as a dormant tool but more a means to creating, collaborating and expanding horizons.

Mark Peterson is an experienced Stop Motion animator. He has worked as a consultant for a number of 3D animation software developers and wire frame armature manufacturers. currently writing more and more for iKITMovie.com.

Article Source: SmartNetWorld Article Library

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