Animation on hand held devices.

As part of the Bradford ICT scheme of work pupils should get the chance to create animations. Simple on screen ones in key stage one, progressing to stop motion animation in key stage two. This has always been a tricky area for teachers to master but once you grasp the process it can be repeated across almost all curricular areas. In this case I made a Science themed animation about magnets.

This week I am teaching animation in St Clare’s Catholic Primary School. It’s a chance to show the teachers a way of organizing animation for a whole class. I’ve done this a few times before and every time it’s been with web cams linked up to netbooks or laptops running animation software but this time I want to do it on iPod touches. All of it. We will not be using computers at all. I created this animation as a practice. It was filmed, edited and uploaded on an iPod touch. No computers were used in the making of this film.

This is possible thanks to a couple of fantastic apps I’ve used. I can animate is now an app for iPods and iPads. I wanted to try it out to see how it measured up to the very powerful on screen animation software of the same name. Just like all computer based animation programs, this app allows you to take pictures and build up your animation. It also supports onion skinning which means there is a ghost like image from your last picture left on your screen when you are taking your next shot. This is really useful if your camera is knocked over or someone sneezes and a character blows away (I speak from experience).

You can also speed up and slow down the rate of animation, remove frames and undo actions. Most important of all you can export your finished animation to your camera roll. This means you can transfer to a computer via email or an app like dropbox.

I should also point out there is also a free animation app created by lego which is recommended by my colleague Chris Mayoh

The I can animate will give you an animation without sound, voice overs or captions. However, if you combine it with the iMovie app everything changes. This powerful program allows you to add all these things. You can also upload to a video hosting site such as You Tube or Vimeo.

Of course you need to hold ipods still for animation. The Innovation Centres bought ten of these tripods . They are very solid and steady. We will be adding them to our loan page here and you’ll be able to loan them really cheaply. (If you can’t find them on the loan page email me here.
Please get in touch if you’d like a me or a member of our team to share more about how these brilliant little devices are simplifying this exciting, creative curricular are more accessible to staff and children.


Tim Bleazard

Tim has over 20 years experience as a primary school teacher, twelve of them as an ICT co-ordinator. In 2009 he was seconded to Challenge City Learning Centre and used the opportunity to assist schools in their understanding and use of a range of new and emerging technologies. He joined the team as a Curriculum Innovation Consultant in 2012. Tim is a qualified E-Safety Mark Assessor, CEOP Ambassador, Apple Professional Development Authorised Trainer and a Google Certified Teacher. Tim’s role includes evaluating a range of mobile devices (Apple, Android and Microsoft) and advising on their appropriate use in schools. Tim is passionate about blogging, programming and using creative digital technology such as video, animation, photography and audio to raise attainment across the curriculum. He leads the very successful ‘Media Literacy Leaders’ project in partnership with Bradford UNESCO City of Film, the British Film Institute and Cape UK.

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