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The creative potential of animation in education

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Educators are constantly on the lookout for new ways to engage and educate learners. Recent research suggests that when you are having fun, you tend to learn better. The retention of information is also much higher when it’s communicated using both verbal and visual communication. No wonder that educators eventually got interested in animation. Thus, there is a huge creative potential of animation in teaching students.

Animated instructions and explainer videos can also significantly boost learning, there is no doubt about that.

In fact, cutting-edge psychological research into how animation affects learning takes that idea for granted, instead aiming to identify the particular conditions under which learning with animation is most efficient. Psychologists found out that combining animation with narration makes it into a highly productive learning tool.

Here is everything you should know about the creative potential of animation for educational purposes.

Potential of Animation in Education

Animation in learning – the basics

Why is animation useful to educators at all? First and foremost, animation performs a cognitive function. Animated videos can easily support learners’ cognitive processes that help to understand a topic.

You can use animation to present abstract or complex concepts visually or show how things come together. Another perk of animation as a learning tool is that it instantly attracts learners’ attention and boosts their motivation.

A well-structured animated video can make any subject fun, creative, and interactive. That’s why animation has such a potential as a learning tool.


Animation in learning – the basics


Animation knows no age limit

The beauty of animation is that it can be used when teaching learners of every age range, from young children, through primary and secondary school, to adulthood. Adults consume plenty of animated films and TV series nowadays, indicating that the medium is just as appealing to older students as to young children. Even the famous TED talk of Sir Ken Robinson is easier to follow in an animated form.

Animation targeting adults will look differently than videos created for kids. But it will always perform the same role: stimulating various sections of learners’ brains at the same time thanks to sound effects, narrative, visual effects, and music.

Animation works for all learning types

Many educators claim that practically all gaps in teaching could be closed with animation. Thanks to its multi sensory nature, the animation is an appealing learning tool for students with different learning preferences.

When well-designed by an animation studio, animated videos supported by other teaching tools offer a great potential to motivate learners and enhance the learning experience of students with different abilities.


Animation works for all learning types

Animation lends itself to every topic

If you are an Educator then you can benefit from animation while teaching practically every subject. Since an animated video can show things you wouldn’t be able to demonstrate in real life, the medium is often used in sciences.

Showing cells interacting with each other can help you to explain biological processes like in cartoon series educating in an adventurous way about science. The animation is also great for displaying complex relationships between different phenomena. Educational videos can also be easily adjusted to the regional context like this UNESCO environmental campaign adopted to the African conditions.

As a humanities teacher, you can also benefit from animated videos. An animated representation of key historical events or the content of literary works proves to be much more engaging than live action video.


Animation lends itself to every topic

Animated videos help to train a wide range of skills

When incorporating animated videos to their curriculum,  as a teacher you can ask students to create animations themselves. By doing that, they will develop a range of valuable skills that can be easily transferred to other contexts.

There are plenty of simple tools available for creating custom animations and they provide a gateway for younger and older students to learn the craft. For example, the Anim8or tool allows learners to use mathematical functions to create 3-D animation. Making animated videos on their own, learners are bound to acquire the new technical skill.

Students can use animation tools to create visual explanations of concepts, make slideshows, and present a topic to their peers. This way, animated videos helps learners to polish their presentation and communication skills.

Animation can also come to rescue for students who find self-expression challenging. With a host of ready-made characters and pre-drawn environments, students can unleash their creative potential without being worried about their skills, as they would in painting or drawing. Tools like the Zimmer Twins offer plenty of prepared materials but also enough freedom for creativity.

The 5 points discussed above make it clear that animation has a huge creative potential for teaching.

Educators can use animation in different ways, but one thing is certain: animated videos will help you to engage and motivate learners, boosting your learning experience and improving knowledge retention – the critical goal of every educator.

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By Frankie Caplan

Frankie Caplan is an animator interested in applying animation to educational projects, communication and brand building...more

Frankie Caplan is an animator interested in applying animation to educational projects, communication and brand building. You can find her writing at Pigeon Studio. less

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