Music Technology and Creative Media teacher, Faringdon Community College, Oxfordshire, UK.
Teaching music, media and film studies to pupils across KS3, KS4, BTEC and A-Level, John has been using Moviestorm to bring animation into his teaching for over a year.
“The biggest challenge with using animation is the huge range of possibilities – there are literally hundreds of ways you can use something like Moviestorm in teaching so its a matter of pinning down the best ones” says John.
One of the ways in which Faringdon has been using Moviestorm is in its KS3 music classes for a topic on music in film. Pupils are asked to create a film using Moviestorm and then add music to their completed animation.
For John this is a graphic illustration of how using animation can fire creativity in pupils. “Its a great way of encouraging kids who are new to music to switch on their creativity. A film gives kids a canvas onto which they can ‘paint’ sound and that gives them confidence to write music in a way that they might not have done if they were faced with a blank page”.
A summer soundscape movie that encourages people to add here own "soundscape"
This music example also demonstrates the cross curricular potential of animation in education. Moving forwards John plans to encourage his media classes to create video content which his music classes can then score separately.
A video created to allow students to edit to 12bar blues.
Another area where Faringdon Community College has used Moviestorm is in Citizenship. Teachers are required to teach outside of their topic areas on Citizenship days, often on sensitive PHSE topics. John has used Moviestorm to create presentation videos on difficult to address topics such as drugs and alcohol.
“I created a video where a character was presenting the topic in front of relevant images and played that to the classroom. I could just as easily have done that in real life but somehow being on film meant that the content engaged the kids completely in a way that a simple classroom presentation couldn’t have done. A handy practical side effect is that it fixes the amount of time that the presentation will take – knowing that the video will use exactly 10 minutes means that I can plan the rest of the lesson more accurately.”
John has ambitious plans for rolling out Moviestorm across subjects at Faringdon.
“I’m already using it in music and creative media classes as well as in Citizenship teaching. I’m now going around talking to other teachers and there are really clear applications in areas such as languages and science that we’re keen to explore as a school.”
John was recently featured in a Sec Ed article on '"Animating the classroom"
Read more about how this innovative teacher approaches teaching and learning, including using animated content as part of examination submissions, and 'whole swathes' of his students adopted this route.