When I started my eFellowship I had the preconception that I would be exploring the extension of literacy skills with children through using animation. Well, I am coming more and more to the conclusion that although there are some literacy skills being developed, there is far more happening than that. There is so much creativity and planning happening it is blowing me away. And the way in which children learn through observation of their peers is being strongly demonstrated.
On Friday (17th September) I decided to just set up the camera and lap top, in front of my newly created green screen, and see what happened. I had said to the children at mat time that anyone who wanted to try it out could. Toby immediately came up to me with a handful of small cars and said he was ready to start. I showed him how he needed to look at the screen to see where the cars were and showed him the key to push on the keyboard to take his photos. I stood back and watched as he carefully placed the cars and then proceeded to create his animation independently. He knew exactly how far to move his models between shots and worked with confidence and demonstrating an understanding of the entire process. When he said he was finished, and after I exported his animation to Imovie, I asked him if he wanted to narrate his story or just find some sound effects. He opted for the sound effects and once these and his titles were completed I burned his movie to a CD to take home.
As soon as Toby had finished Lola stepped forward and said she was ready to have a go. I had seen Lola watching the other children who have made animations, as they worked, and she just got straight into things with our model fairies and quickly completed her animation. I was very impressed by the animation she created and the way she worked - I felt she had a concept in mind before she began and worked to create it as she worked so quickly and confidently. By the time she had finished it was the end of the session and we agreed she would complete her movie today. When I asked her this morning if she was ready to complete her movie she was keen to start, but really wasn't very interested in the process to finish the movie. I could see that for her the creation of the animation was what engaged her interest and she was not really interested in the other elements whereas the other children have been engaged by the entire process. She decided just to add some music and was very happy with the finished movie when we had added the music. I wonder if she had been able to complete her project in one session, or without a weekend between, she may have been more engaged in the process. It will be interesting to revisit the entire process with her, in one session, to see if it makes a difference.