Animation Technology is a rapid display of a sequence of 2-D or 3-D images to create the illusion of movement. ◦ Automatoon is a free, web-based Program that allows users to create original animations online. The user can easily share their animations online or download them to a web-site! To access this program, simply go to Automatoon.com and create a free account using our email.
Cartoon Technology is form of two- dimensional visual art. ◦ Pixton is a free, web-based program that allows its users to create original cartoons online. However, unlike from Automatoon, Pixton allows users to create comics using generic templates as well as the incorporation of one’s own images and sounds. Pixton cartoons are not animated; however, they can be printed, downloaded, embedded, and shared online.
Both animation and cartoon technology are excellent tools to utilized in all subject areas as a teachers aid as well as a project option for students. ◦ Animation technology is a wonderful tool for teachers to demonstrate intricate concepts, rather than learning from static diagrams. ◦ Cartoon technology is a wonderful tool for teachers and students to use as a during or after reading strategy to map what is happening in a story.
Animation and Cartoon technology appeals to the digital preferences of the 21st century student While still allowing them to demonstrate their understanding of the content knowledge. ◦ Animation technology allows students to gain understanding and skill, while staying in their digital comfort zone. ◦ Cartoon technology
Chemistry! Animation: A teacher could create an animation to explain what happens inside of a chemical reaction or the students could use this program to demonstrate their understand of a concept, such as how elements combined and why. Cartoon: Teachers and students could use Pixton to aide and encourage understanding through visual learning. Students could create a cartoon demonstrating how hydrogen and oxygen met and what happened when they bonded.
Language Arts! Animation: Automatoon could be used by both the teacher and the students to animate any written work that is confusing or difficult to understand. Cartoon: After reading a classic work, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare, students could create a personalized, modern cartoon comedy based on the classic tale.
Biology! Animation: A teacher could use Automatoon to demonstrate the carbon cycle, how enzymes work, or the impact of global warming. Students, on the other hand, could use this program to demonstrate their understanding of difficult concepts, such as the cell division cycle. Cartoon: Students could use as a way to assess understanding of the water cycle, each student could construct a cartoon demonstrating the water cycle as it happens in his or her neighborhood. This project would provoke student thought of their surrounding environment as well as how they interact with it.
Math! Animation: Automatoon could be used by both the teacher and the students to understand the details of graphing. The class could work together on an animated project to understand how slope changes, both graphically and numerically. Cartoon: Students could demonstrate their understanding of fractions through the creation of a cartoon pie shop and owner. The student would start by selling one piece, a few pieces at a time, etc. This would allow the students to create and understand the use of fractions.
We decided to focus our study on the reading comprehension of third graders due to the SIP’s extensive discussion low reading scores for 3rd- 5th grade. ◦ The mid-Atlantic region elementary school believes that the root cause of these low reading scores is due to the students’ inability to read and comprehend grade level text. The study originally was going to incorporate animation technology as a way to increase reading comprehension; however, due to the elementary public school firewall system, we were unable to access the Automatoon website. The study was then adapted to incorporate the use of Pixton.
The sample size consisted of a third grade class of 23 students, 9 girls and 14 boys. The lessons consisted of two third grade texts of similar type from the Houghten-Mifflin reader, Grandma’s Records and The Talking Cloth. Pre- and post-tests were administered for both texts in order to determine if there was an increase in text specific vocabulary, story sequencing, and overall content comprehension.
The first text: Grandma’s Records was taught using traditional instruction strategies, with the assessment of content comprehension consistently developed and determined through informal discussion and verbal question and answer sessions. The second text: The Talking Cloth, was taught using the same level and type of instruction. However, the review of the content and vocabulary was conducted using the supplement of a cartoon created through Pixton. The cartoon, constructed by the teacher, incorporated main events from The Talking Cloth text that were in non-sequential order (see Figure 1). The students then put the images in order based on the events that occurred within the text.
Figure 1: A teacher-generated cartoon showing elements of a story sequence.
The pre-test and post-test reading comprehension scores were compared using paired T-Tests for both the traditional classroom strategies and the cartoon technology. The results of t-tests indicated that there was a statistically significant increase in reading comprehension from the pre-test to the post-test for both texts. ◦ Grandma’s Records t(21) = -8.89, p < .001 ◦ The Talking Cloth t(19) = -6.19, p < .001 This shows that both methods of instruction were successful in helping students to comprehend the texts.Table 1 shows the means andstandard deviations for each of thefour tests and the mean differencebetween the pre-test and post-test scores.
However, a statistically significant increase in reading comprehension was not found when comparing reading comprehension scores for cartoon technology with reading comprehension scores for traditional classroom strategies, t(19) = -0.90, p = 0.38. Even though our small-scale study did not show that cartoon technology significantly improved reading comprehension over traditional teaching methods, students were engaged in the cartoon supplement. Including technology in instruction appealed to students with multiple learning styles as well as differing skill and ability levels.
Bakhoum, E. G. (2008). Animating an Equation: a Guide to using Flash in Mathematics Education. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 39(5), 637-655.Bradley, L. K., Stutz, J. C., and Towill, L. R. (2009). Plant Biology: From the Classroom to the Internet. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, 38, 82- 86.Velazquez-Marcano, A., Williamson, V., Ashkenazi, G., Tasker, R., & Williamson, K. (2004). The Use of Video Demonstrations and Particulate Animation in General Chemistry. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13(3), 315-323.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animation