Monday, 4 February 2013

To Play or Not to Play?

That is the question!

In my day to day to work, I'm often introducing students to new technologies/resources. I have found the best way for students to learn something new, especially something to do with technology, is to let them play; push all the buttons; tinker with it; experiment with different things. All of this helps them to work out what makes the application 'tick' also to see what it is capable of and where it might be fit best within their learning.

Some teachers may argue the benefit of playing with something before really applying it to learning. After all, there is so much curriculum to get through and playing around with an App would be wasting valuable 'learning time'. My argument is that there is so much value in playing and tinkering with something new.

In the past few weeks, I have been working with a grade 5-6 class learning how to animate in three different ways:

The teacher I was working with decided that it would be best for the students to see the capability of each application before setting the big animation project (to animate a property/principle of air). We spent 9 lessons of about 1 hour to learn our way around each app. This included mini lessons, playing, sharing and giving feedback. This idea worked out so well and both of us teachers were blown away by how well the students did.

Here are some examples of some of the work our students completed during this tinkering time:

DoInk Animation & Drawing

Keynote for Mac

The video below is a video montage of a few different keynote animations.

Stop Motion Studio Pro

The following animations videos were the students first attempts and playing around with Stop Motion Studio.


  1. I am happy to hear your students are liking the Stop-Motion Camera. We use this app for math this past week. The students had to create a video that would represent something they learned in math. My favourite video was when one group represented fractions and you could see the little toy eat each piece of pizza and watch the new fraction that came with each slice.

    1. Thanks again Chelsea! That sounds like a great application of the Stop Motion Studio App. It would be great to see some finished products. Can you share them? We will be sharing some of our finished Animated Air videos this week.