A SmallPoem for Small Poems

I’m tinkering around with a visual typography app that Terry and Wendy shared out called TypiVideo. I like the effects of the moving text but I am having trouble with finding the ways that I can set animation and text (I know the controls are there, and I saw a tutorial that indicated where and how I can do more, but I can’t seem to have get to them to work on mine. Might need to reload the app.)

Anyway, the poem above is for another poetry venture elsewhere.

Peace (animated),
Kevin

Sprucing Up the Stopmotion Movie Site

Making Stopmotion Movies in the Classroom

I realized that my website resource for making Stopmotion Movies had a bunch of dead links and dead videos, so I spent some time this week making sure links worked and that old resources were replaced with new ones, etc.

Check out the Making Stopmotion Movies site. Use it and share it as you like.

As I note on the homepage …

Making movies encourages:

* Project-based learning
* Creativity
* Collaboration
* Story development skills
* Character development skills
* Presentation/Publication experience
* Technology expertise

And here are some links within the site:

We’re exploring animation and gif creation in CLMOOC this week. Come join us for a Twitter Chat today at 1 p.m. EST with the #clmooc hashtag.

Peace (beyond the camera click),
Kevin

Imagination, Animation, and Education

We had a rich discussion yesterday at the Make with Me Hangout for Connected Learning MOOC (CLMOOC) on the issue of animation and gifs, exploring the notions of learning, explaining and pop culture integration with video loops.

Since it was a Make with Me, I worked on shooting this short stopmotion piece in the midst of the session, using a Google Chrome add-on app called StopMotion Animator (which I learned about via Richard Byrne’s Free Tech for Teachers). I had made my little creature with WikiStix and then converted my video file (from the app) into a gif with an online conversion site.

Here is the full Make with Me, with Sarah, Niall, Terry E., Terry G. and Clare.

Later, I used another Chrome add-one to make gifs of each participant for sharing on Twitter, which Sheri apparently pulled into one larger gif.

 

The question we were considering, why gif and why animation? played out a few ways as Sarah led us in discussion. Niall talked about how using animations in science classes allows for a visual way to teach complex topics (and allowing students to make animations of a science concept would demonstrate learning).

Clare talked about using animation with Lego Avatars with medical students, as an alternative way to spark discussion about reflection of practice. Terry G. and Terry E. both talked about the aspects of fun and being creative with various tools, using short video to make a point or to tap into pop culture. I shared how often I find myself, and my students, “breaking” the technology in order to make it do things it was not necessarily designed to do.

And there’s more in there …

We have a Twitter Chat planned for tomorrow (Thurs) on animation and gifs, so come join the conversation with the #clmooc hashtag. It all starts at 1 p.m. EST

Peace (in forward motion),
Kevin

Small Moving Parts: Gifs and Animation

We’re exploring the use of GIFs and animations (including stopmotion) in the Connected Learning MOOC (CLMOOC) this week. If you’ve been wondering how to create small animations, and what the value might be for both creativity and learning as well as the connections to popular culture, come join us during this Make Cycle.

GIF skeptic

There are lots of resources in the post for this CLMOOC Make Cycle and folks will be sharing out work and ideas all week long. We have a Make with Me Hangout tomorrow — Tuesday 1 p.m. EST — and a Twitter Chat — Thursday 1 p.m. EST.

One early share for me is a simple animation, using paper cards (or the corner of a small notebook). We used to make these in school in our books (don’t tell the teacher). It’s a Flip Book, animated by the simple flipping of pages. I made this one a few years ago during a Claymation/Stopmotion Movie Camp that I facilitated, and we had kids make them. It was a lot of fun.

I also created a website resource some years back (and which I try to update as much as possible) for teachers wondering about stopmotion animation movies in the classroom. I used it for workshops and as a clearinghouse for remembering resources for myself.

Making Stopmotion Movies in the Classroom

Check out Making Stopmotion Movies

See what you can make …

Peace (moves along),
Kevin

Slice of Life (Day 30): Making Quidditch Animations

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write all through March, every day, about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

We do all sorts of celebrating for our school’s Quidditch season, which comes to a close TODAY with a day-long tournament for our sixth graders and then a students vs. teachers match this evening. I am tired just thinking about it. But it will be a lot of fun. Noisy fun. Exhausting fun. You get the idea.

Among the many classroom activities surrounding Quidditch, which includes various writing pieces such as diagramming plays and using expository writing to explain the plays, I show my students the basics of stopmotion animation using a site called ParaPara Animation (click the yellow wrench in the bottom right corner to get started). It’s simple to use, and a little quirky and a bit buggy, but the students love it. We had them making animations to celebrate Quidditch, and their teams.

Here are a few:













Peace (catch it),
Kevin

Claymation and the Autistic Filmmaker

TIE claymation session

I attended an interesting presentation a few weeks ago by a colleague in my school district, John Heffernan, who shared out work he had done with one of his elementary students with Autism. Using Claymation Moviemaking and storytelling as the doorway, John helped this student make significant gains with social and emotional awareness of others, as well as becoming more connected to the larger school community.

As John told it, he and the special education teacher noticed that this student showed imagination and creativity one day when John shared some stopmotion software with the class. In fact, the teachers were so intrigued that they designed a year-long project in which John, the technology integration teacher, worked with the student regularly on claymation and stopmotion movies.

While the first films were rather sparse, as time went on, the short films, and then the scripts, began to show more emotional range for the characters in a claymation-filled imaginary world that this student began to create and construct, complete with back-stories and theme music. Audio narration added depth to characters. For a child with Autism, this emotional range represented significant progress, particularly using social cues (such as friendship or sadness) in the development of characters.

Claymation Box

Later, the student presented his collection of stopmotion movies to his peers, calling on other students with questions and listening with some focus to the interactions of his audience. We watched videos of some of the claymation work, as well as observations of the presentation of movies in the classroom.

As John observed, the characteristic of Autistic children with hyper-intensive attention-to-detail helped with making stopmotion movies — the frame-by-frame shooting of footage is difficult, believe me — as did the malleability of clay characters. Plus, this student invented this entire imaginary world in his mind, which he then worked to bring to life, and to an audience, through movie-making.

I was impressed — with the filmmaking by the student and with the way that John and his teaching colleagues took time to notice the high level interest and then built an entire project for this student around claymation, with the higher goals of fostering more social and emotional growth over time. (John also brought stopmotion into the classroom for the peers, too, who were inspired by the work of this student and wanted to do their own.)

My only disappointment? We didn’t make our own claymation movies in the workshop session.

Peace (mold it, film it),
Kevin

App Review: StickNodes

A few weeks ago, for the #CLMOOC DigiWriMo Pop Up Make Cycle, the focus was on animation. There are all sorts of apps that allow you to animate now, and StickNodes is one of my favorites (I paid the $1.99 for the Pro version). It’s an update on an old freeware that I used to use with students called Pivot Animator. When we shifted to Macs, I had to move away from Pivot (it is a PC-only freeware) and tried Stykz for a bit.

StickNodes Pro is pretty easy to use, and has a lot of powerful features for animating stick figures. It’s also pretty darn fun to use. You can create and then export your animation as video or gif files, which can be hosted elsewhere.

Here is one of my early experiments: Stickman Walking. (I had uploaded it into Vine, which you can no longer do)

 

No surprise that there are tutorial videos on YouTube for using the app. Here is the first in a series done by this person.

Give it a try. Or try some other app, and let us know. We’re animating this week!

Peace (in the frame),
Kevin

Stopmotion: A Little Nomad’s Christmas Tree

My friend, Sarah Honeychurch, send me a lovely holiday postcard for the CLMOOC Postcard Project, and she included a little traveling knitted “Nomad” with the card (see her online moniker for why that is a perfect name for the little knitted traveler). It was so cute!

My first reaction was how cool it was to get this little gift like this from across the world. My second reaction was that this Nomad is the perfect size for stopmotion animation. My third reaction was, I can finally use this USB Christmas Tree that sits in my closet all year long.

I got to work … eh, play.

Thank you, Sarah, and thank you to everyone else who is part of my various networks. That hug that the Nomad gives the tree at the end is symbolic.

Peace (let it it light the world),
Kevin

 

When #CLMOOC Met #DigiWriMo

(A collage of “grounds” from the Look Down to the Ground Collaboration)

We’re wrapping up two weeks of Pop-Up Make Cycles that the CLMOOC Crowd (past participants who have stepped up to facilitate the Connected Learning MOOC this past year) organized for what used to be Digital Writing Month (but may be no more). We invited people to share photos, annotate and curate on the Web, make and share animations, discuss Digital Writing in a variety of formats, produce inspirational images and messages, and more.

It’s probably not the ideal time of year to hope that many, many people will take the CLMOOC up on the invitation to make, create, share. Still, that’s the beauty of the Pop-Up Make Cycle idea (first launched by Joe Dillon and Terry Elliott, I believe). It comes. It goes. It’s an open invitation.

Two of the pieces I am proud of making:

and

Do I wish more folks participated? Yes. But then I remember something we said early this past summer at all due to a different focus for the National Writing Project, when it seemed that CLMOOC might not happen in 2016.

A few us (participants and past facilitators) chatted and decided: Yes, CLMOOC will indeed happen, and those few soon grew to more than a dozen people who volunteered to become the CLMOOC Crowd (my name for it). We agreed that “small” is perfectly fine. The “M”  in this mooc does not have to be “massive” anymore. It just has to be “meaningful.” So, “minimal” works, too.

And you know .. this is the Open Web. Anyone at anytime can access any of the ideas. You’re invited. You’re always invited.

Peace (and connect),
Kevin

 

#DigiWriMo #CLMOOC: Making Simple Animation with Para Para

 

Here are steps to making and sharing a simple stopmotion animation with Para Para Animation (part of Mozilla’s Webmaker family … I think …) Warning: The site is kind of funky at times and not always completely stable. And I am not sure how well it works on mobile devices. Just warning you. But I have used it with students and they LOVE it for the simplicity and easy entry point. You will, too.

Here is the Para Para Animation Site

Using ParaPara Animation1
Using ParaPara Animation2
Using ParaPara Animation3
Using ParaPara Animation4
Using ParaPara Animation5
Using ParaPara Animation6
Using ParaPara Animation7

Well .. good luck. Share your art out at #clmooc or #digiwrimo or wherever you find yourself.

Peace (framing it one at a time),
Kevin