As technology is steadily evolving, I, sometimes, find it a challenge to keep up with all the latest tech resources available to myself and my students. This past year, I came across an educational game website called abcya.com that allow students to play games while still learning or practicing specific skills and content. I usually used it as a reward at my technology center when students had completed all assignments or if a rainy day called for recess to be inside. I thought the site was cool and so did my first graders, until I stumbled across Richard Bryne’s blog site, Free Technology for Teachers. I learned that I could do more on this site than just play educational games.
As you may know, in earlier grades, students express their thoughts, ideas and feelings through illustration. As students make a transition from early emergent writers to developing writers, and so forth, there is a wide range of student levels and abilities to express themselves during writing. ABCya! Animate is a cool tool that allows students to do just that. I discovered the site on Bryne’s blog, posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 entitled, Create 100 Frame Animations on ABCya Animate.
In the blog, Bryne highlights how students can create animations using a several frames (to create a story using pictures/animations, in my opinion) and save the document as .gif file to be re-opened at any time. The cool thing about it, is that its free and there is no sign up or registration required. Students just use the tools to draw inside the frame, with the ability to arrange parts, change size, create backgrounds and insert shapes. Below, is an example of what a typical animation process looks like. You can see the frame reel across the top (that goes up too 100), and tools across the bottom and the right side of the current animation frame.
Now, ABCya! Animate is recommended for grades 3, 4, and 5. However, I definitely would use this with my AIG students who have an advanced ability to navigate through the tools effectively or with my special needs students who are not at a proficient level for written expression as a modification. Could you see yourself using this in your classroom? If so, how would you use it? Maybe you could use it for a culminating multimedia project… Feel free to share your ideas. If ABCya! Animate is not your cup of tea, the blog also suggested alternative animation apps that you may find interesting. Check out 5 Apps and Sites for Creating Animations if you want to look more into creating animations with your students.