Using animation to bring biology to life


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  • In the past Audrey has supplemented the labs with projects where students create models using clay, beads, pasta and/or pipe cleaners. We wanted to provide a similar hands on approach to learning that was technologically engaging (and less messy).
  • Using animation to bring biology to life

    1. 1. Ann Larson and Audrey Lavertu – Bishop Feehan High School October 28, 2010 Project funded by a MassCUE 2010 Initiative Grant
    2. 2.  Increase students’ understanding of biology topics.  Engage students by using hands-on computer lab activities to supplement hands- on science lab activities.  Use animation as a way for students to express their understanding of biological processes and for teachers to assess students’ understanding
    3. 3.  Animation-ish FableVision  Bamboo Tablets Wacom  wikis
    4. 4.  December 2009 – Animation-ish workshop in Sharon, MA  Software Installation – February 2010  Introduce Animation-ish to students and initial project – March 2010  Continue to use Animation-ish as a component of online learning unit  Expand use of Animation-ish to AP Bio
    5. 5.  Storyboard template  Animation-ish Quick Start Guide  Ish by Peter Reynolds  Animation-ish User’s Guide
    6. 6.  DNA Replication Project  Blood Flow through the Heart Project  AP Bio Independent/Final Project
    7. 7.  Purpose: for students to show their understanding of the structure of a double stranded dna and the process of dna replication, i.e how the strand splits and nucleotides attach to form two new double strands.  Rubric
    8. 8.  Purpose: students understand the anatomy of the heart and the process of how blood flows through the heart.  Learning was scaffolded using the Moodle environment which contained diagrams, videos, interactives and quizzes to introduce students to the circulatory anatomy and function.
    9. 9.  Animations reveal different levels of student learning
    10. 10.  Students animated a course topic of their choice, include a text description and reflection on their learning and shared them on a class wiki
    11. 11.  Teachers: ◦ “I love Animation-ish; it makes them think.” – E Cheney - BFHS ◦ “It makes the students take ownership of the learning; (they’re) working at it and trying to understand the concepts.” - A Lavertu - BFHS  Students: ◦ I think it is very useful to see certain concepts in animation because it allows me to make a mental picture. Animations can definitely help any student gain a better understanding of what biology is all about. - Madeline D. – BFHS ◦ It did help me review the steps of meiosis and further stamp them in my mind. - Meghan C. ◦ I picked this topic because I thought it would be interesting to actually see it in motion. Making the animation helped me better understand the entire process of RNA Processing. - Ellen V. ◦ I really enjoyed this project. I like the Animation-ish program, and I feel like I had enough background information on my topic going into the project, so it wasn't too hard to complete. Drawing out each slide helped me to see each individual part of the process and helped me realize that the basics of the two processes are ultimately very simple. I now have a much deeper understanding of how a cell translates a strand of DNA into a protein. - Kate H. ◦ I think that making the animation helped make explaining Mitosis easier because it is hard to explain the difference between chromosomes and sister chromatids without being able to see it - Lauren B. ◦ I chose the process of Gel Electrophoresis for my animation because I think this process has a lot of real-world applications that are not always fully understood. … This animation helped me understand and appreciate how useful this process really is. Because my movie was geared towards children, I also learned how to explain the process simply so that I could convey its importance without using a lot of words and vocabulary. Making this video was a lot of fun!. - Manasi M. ◦ I also had a good review of the ecology section of the biology book. I relearned the trophic levels and the energy transfer. - Rosemary M ◦ I found this program to be useful in order to show how a process works; however, to be honest, I found it very tedious. ... I like things to be neat and precise, so this application was frustrating at times – Taylor M. ◦ … show the previous year’s projects to current students during the regular school year. They would learn the concepts and have a fun project to look forward to after the AP exam. - Alex L. – BFHS
    12. 12.  Use of Animation helped students to focus their learning  Use of Animation helped teachers to assess student learning and understand where gaps in understanding were  Use of wikis helped motivate students to create quality product for an audience  AP Animations can be shown for next class of students as an overview of some course topics.
    13. 13.  Thank you to MassCUE 2010 Grant Initiative for the motivation and funding to provide enhanced opportunities for students.