Animator is one of the tools apps available for free from the LearnPad content store. It is found in the LearnPad tools category. This can be chosen as a favourite and your learners can access it in any lesson profile. This will be explained to you during the training. In one of her video tutorials, Hannah says that this is a very simple stop motion animation app and there are so many ways you can use it in the classroom. Your learners can use it in combination with Story Starter or by using their own toys to create animations of stories they create, or capture time lapse of anything that moves or grows very slowly. Learners can also use clay or “Plasticine” to create their own models and use them in their own storytelling.
Starting is very simple. One click of an icon is all it takes to get going. All the apps have been chosen precisely because they are simple to use by your 8 year olds. At this stage we do not need a stop motion software to create a Wallace and Gromit animation. Although the principles are the same, your learning objectives are not. Remember that the idea is to have your learners create stories or document an event with simple apps. You do not need complicated software to achieve a creative project. The focus should remain on the learning process rather than on learning how to use the app for its own sake. The first frame is set and captured by clicking on the pink camera icon. This step usually comes after a discussion among peers about the storyline, characters involved and scene setting which really is part of your lesson planning. This can be any lesson ranging from language acquisition and practice in either Maltese or English to mathematics, religion, science, music, social studies or art. Thus a simple storyline will involve literacy skills, art and sequencing of events among a multitude of other skills.
Like most stop motion software, the app has a feature called onion skin. Lovely bit of vocabulary to discuss with your learners here. Why do you think it is called onion skin and what is its purpose? This is useful when a slight change is made to a frame. The almost transparent image will show the difference between any two frames when a character in the scene is moved. As a teacher, and not as a movie maker, your role is to stretch your students with challenges that you might not even know the answer to. Do not worry. Learn together with your students. You may be teaching your student a valuable lesson and encouraging them towards critical thinking.