There are so many fantastic ways to incorporate technology into instruction that, sometimes, there are highly useful resources that we might have overlooked. One of these technological gems is stop-motion animation. If you haven't yet used this tool, you owe it to yourself and your students to try it out. Stop-motion animation apps have been available for over five years. And the use of animation is easier than ever. Many apps are free and can be easily used by your students on their smartphones or tablets.
|Heart Cycle animated GIF by students using StopMotion App.|
These kinds of apps allow students to use the cameras on their smartphones or tablets to quickly create short animated films or GIF files. Below are some examples of projects that have incorporated stop animation.
- There are many projects in language arts and in social studies where stop-motion animation would be an engaging way for groups of students to tell a story or re-enact a historical event. (Here is an example of students animating a children's book.)
- Stop-motion can also be used in math as a formative assessment (elementary example and high school example), where students work collaboratively to produce products that show their mastery over specific math concepts.
- Science teachers make frequent use of models in order to help students understand phenomena. The use of technology to animate such models adds a dynamic dimension that can really help students understand the complexity of the system and the sequence of events. (Protein synthesis example and body systems example and teacher lesson example)