Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Improving understanding through 'creating'

Today, with the support or our team leader +Helen King our team of teachers became the "learner"!  As is often the case, through "doing", a greater appreciation of a task is understood.

Our task for today was to use Hyperstudio to create an animation - this is the task we are asking our learners to tackle this term.  While I have been using Hyperstudio since the beginning of the year, it was great to put my learning into action and take on board some tips and tricks to both assist with animating as well as shortcuts and different ways to attempt the task.

I'm the first to admit I'm not particularly talented when it comes to drawing - give me a computer or iPad and I feel confident in what I'm doing, but ask me to draw something and I definitely am nervous.  That said, in my classroom I am forever telling my learners "there is no such thing as can't" and that we need to "always try our best".  So with this mantra clearly ringing in my head, I begin tackling my Olympic Marathon runner (Hyperstudio animations this term for our team are of an Olympic athlete).

It is with some 'nervous apprehension' that I share my completed animation - there are definitely things that in hindsight I needed to draw differently or tweak to make more perfect, but time was against me.  IMPORTANTLY, I do take away many hints, tricks and tips that will enable me to support my learners - they will have the benefit of learning from some of the mistakes I made and I feel more confident in supporting them to create animations which have athletes with body parts that move (change) as they 'compete' on the Olympic stage.

Some of the ideas/tips that came from our session this afternoon I was aware of, but took away some great additional ideas:
  • Use a scrap card to create equipment and your athlete - a scrap card is a blank stack(s), separate from your background where you can design these objects and the copy them into your background card
  • Lasso parts of the athlete (eg legs, arms) and move them to a new position on the athlete to show movement 
  • As you add to your Hyperstudio stack to create the animation, copy/paste the previous stack and leave the object(s) in place until you've put your new object in place - this allows you to line it up and see where the object was on the previous slide
  • Make small movements from one stack to the next - the smaller the movement the more realistic it looks as you put the stacks together into a movie
  • Don't use white on your objects - they will copy in and look "see through" 
  • Try 'moving yourself' and think about where your arms/legs are in order to make your athlete look more realistic 
  • Create your objects larger than needed - easier to draw them larger and then downsize them if needed - they tend to look more detailed this way too

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