Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Animation In the Classroom (DoInk)

I love teaching animation in the classroom.  As I tend to be very child-like in my personality; this is hardly surprising. There is something magical about just watching animation. But, when you take something small, add to it, add to it some more, and then make it move. Well. Then, you are the magician. It is incredibly empowering and satifying.

My Title I kiddos need all the positive empowerment they can get.  I think that is, perhaps, my biggest reason for incorporating animation and technology into the classroom: empowerment.  Many of my students love gaming and viewing animation and fantasize about "how cool" it would be to "do that when they grow up."  Yet, free (free!) technology is so advanced that they can do it now. . .And, then have a great foundational skill to build on later for a possible career.  Additionally, they, as digital natives, learn new technology more speedily and use new technology more effectively than I do; they teach me so much. 

This week, I discovered DoInk!

Did you ever learn Macromedia Flash back in the day?  Flash was one of the last classes I took in my undergraduate program.  I loved it, but was already firmly decided as a painter, so I didn't do much to pursue it after the class (mostly because Flash was too expensive for me).  Flash is still around today, but it doesn't seem to be used so much by artists as it does by web developers. You probably use Flash every day when you watch videos, but don't realize it.  My animated Art Education website is a flash-animated site.  Actually, Flash is getting a bit outdated (Steve Jobs refused to make Apple products Flash-compatible because he thought that Flash didn't offer as many opportunities as other programs). 

Anyway, DoInk! is a simple, free, online program wherein you can create easy (super duper easy) animations. There are great online tutorials as well.   I have instantly fallen in love and can't wait to teach my students how to create animations next year.

 I used this tutorial from Deep South Ed Tech's blog to create this basic animation (my very first one):


Fishy Fishy Fishy by cmsdigitalart, made at DoInk.com

Then, I got a little excited and made this one:


What Teachers Do on Summer Vacation by cmsdigitalart, made at DoInk.com

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