Animation projects are a great way to integrate technology, encourage project-based learning and have a lot of fun. This month let’s take a quick tour of seven Web 2.0 animation sites for students young and old.
For younger students, Kerpoof is an all-time favorite. This site has a suite of creative tools for children that are perfect for the elementary classroom. Another great feature is the ability to create free teacher accounts to manage your students. To create animations, choose the “Make a Movie” tool. Numerous themes, backgrounds, characters, etc. are available for your students to get to work quickly.
ABCYa.com is a very simple animation site for young students. It provides 40 frames and a blank canvas…similar to hand drawing frames in a notebook and then flipping the pages. It’s easy and kids love bringing their drawings to life.
Students in upper elementary and middle school will enjoy Fluxtime. The site includes a library of background templates and objects. Add them to the canvas, move and record the movements. Completed projects can be emailed and/or published to a gallery.
Moving up a level of complexity is DigitalFilms.com. Like Fluxtime, numerous backgrounds and objects are provided. A character creator is also included so students can make a character that looks just like them. Actions can be added to the characters as well as text and the creation can be shared online.
GoAnimate is definitely a big step up from the previously mentioned sites and works well for middle and high school students. Think of your creation as a comic strip where the characters in each scene can speak and be animated. The quality of the graphics is amazing and the user interface is very intuitive. The site is so fun and easy to use your students will love it.
A powerful, frame-by-frame, animation tool is DoInk. It features easy to use vector drawing tools one-click frame cloning. After an animation is created (called a drawing), it can be inserted into another, larger project called a composition. This is great practice before introducing students to Adobe Flash. Check out the DoInk featured compositions for project ideas.
For more involved, 3-D looking animations, try Xtranormal. This site is a blast. Choose Make Movies then choose a collection. Collections are sets of characters such as historical figures, robots, etc. Making a movie is as simple as typing your script, choosing a voice and adding actions. You can even add camera angles. The finished product is a full motion video which can be shared and even loaded to YouTube. If you don’t want to work online you can download the client version called State.
Give these animation web tools a try and post your comments on the Teacher Experience Exchange. If you have your own favorite sites, please share!