Guest Article: Animation in the Classroom
Making Animation accessible to young people is a topic I have found fascinating and inspirational over the past eight years. Through a Course with the National Youth Association Ireland, and the support of the Schools completion programme, the craft of stop motion animation became a project that blossomed and evolved into a series of projects that I facilitated in Monkstown Farm and Sallynoggin in Dublin. Through these experiences with both primary and secondary young people, it became clear to me that the topic and process of making animation connected and ignited the imaginations of these participants. Animation is inclusive, as it can be adapted to learner styles, kinaesthetic for making plasticine models, Visual learners for story boarding and read/write for script writing. Through a short series of lessons the basic principles and process of animation, like the persistence of vision, camera operations and production roles, was imparted to the young people which empowered them to create their own animations. Most importantly, animation became not just a form of media they watched but became a media that they could now create. These creations involved anything from remaking Toy Story, space ship battles, Godzilla vs Star Wars to girl bands, wrestling and Celtic stories. Their perceptions and interests in the world were manifested in these animations. These became more than just the development of animation skills but the young people’s ability to work cohesively, be motivated and to become contributors to the mass media culture that they reside in.
These animation experiences have fuelled a project called ‘Comotion- animating together’ that I and my tem partner are currently working on in DIT. Through the Creative Digital Media course we are developing a website that will support Teachers to use animation in a cross curricular manner. The website will host lesson plans, a series of short videos about animation, a blog, a forum and the ability to upload animations by young people too. I am very interested to get feedback from Teachers to shape this idea further. If Teachers could take the time to engage in a short survey it would be greatly benefit the development of this website. This on line survey will take 2 to 3 minutes to complete and your cooperation would be much appreciated.
Simply copy and paste the URL to access the survey or click the link below. This project was done in conjunction with Shane Ellis.