At our annual professional development day, I hosted a double session on Slowmations. Slowmations are stopmotion animations, but instead of taking 20-30 photos to make 1 second of footage, you only take 1-2 photos per second. This makes the final movie more jerky, but much less time consuming and accessible to students of all ages.
Below are some great examples of slowmations that teachers in the workshop made:
This is Todd, Eb and Susan’s tsunami slowmation. It looks super fun and I’m sure their children would LOVE to make an animation like this themselves.
Jens, Tony and Gregg on how to use a rowing machine. This one is interesting as it’s the first slowmation that I have seen use real people. I think their’s is very polished and came out great!
A great chemistry slowmation by Antoine and Cameron:
This is a great video from Shauna and Bruce in the math department. I love that they have really made a possibly dry topic very interesting and engaging.
As you can see, the animations can be used for a range of purposes, age groups and subject. Get your students making slowmations in class to really engage them and solidify the concepts learned in class.
I am also planning to present on this same topic at the up coming Association of German International School conference in January. I’m really looking forward to turning some more teachers onto the powers of using slowmations to really solidify understanding of a range of topics.
Last year I went out on a limb and decided to do Slowmation project with my Grade 2 class. It was quite risky as I’d never tried it with students that young before but with some scaffolding, it turned out to be one of the best projects I did with any of my students in the 2010-2011 academic year. The girls had a blast and got so much out of it. They a chance to review their knowledge in a tactile and verbal way and really solidify their understanding of the topic they were studying in class, water cycles.
As the end of the year was so busy, I forgot to share the video with everyone and when I was talking about the videos over the weekend at the amazing ‘The Network Educator‘ professional develop course, I realized I had forgotten to post up the students videos. So here it is, finally, given the credit it truly deserves.
On Saturday I presented at JSACD (Japan Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) Try It On Monday professional development day at the Apple Japan headquarters in Hatsudai, Tokyo. I presented on Slowmation and it’s benefits in education.
It was a great one hour session, with two groups making their very own Slowmation video and learning a lot about the amazing features of Keynote and iPod Touch’s.
Here is the video from one of the groups. With all the props being pre made, this took the groups about 30 minutes to create which was a great effort.
Slowmation is a simplified and faster form of animation geared towards students of almost all ages. Developed my Garry Hoban, the Associate Professor of the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong, Australia, this engaging task get students to delve into the finer details of the subject at hand. Similar to ‘Stopmotion Animation’ such as Claymation, which takes 24 photos a second to give the viewer a sense of fluidness, Slowmation relies on longer spans on single shots, from one to two seconds per photo. By doing so, this cuts down dramatically on the time it takes to develop the finished product, in turn, making it more accessible to children. Here is a great example that my students developed last year:
I have found personally, that by going through this process, the students have develop a much deeper understanding of the subject they are studying, as they need to know the finer details of each aspect of the topic. This task would be great as an assessment, to see what the students have learnt throughout a unit, or as an introductory lesson, to develop the students knowledge.
If you would like to make your own Slowmation video, I have made an extensive guide. Download this PDF and you too can be explanations fun and engaging again.