All Change!

June 30, 2011

Well it’s all change here at the Sheffield South City Learning Centre.

We are now working as part of a city-wide eLearning Team, with the primary ICT consultants and colleagues from the other CLCs in the city. The South CLC based on the site of Newfield School will remain open, and we hope to continue working with our partnership schools, and those across the city, in the new academic year.

Meanwhile I’m off on maternity leave, starting tomorrow, but I’m hoping you will still be updated on our projectson the blog by the rest of the staff here. Thankyou to all our readers, I hope to be back in 2012!

Catherine

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Traditional Japanese Stories Brought to Life by Bradway Y6s

June 30, 2011

Two year 6 classes from Bradway School spent a full day each at the CLC to animate the traditional Japanese stories they had been learning about in class. The students had also being studying Manga comics, and each group created some fantastic 2D characters, props and sets for the animations. They were the most ambitious characters I’ve seen at the CLC, with a huge number of moving parts, with different eyes, mouths and profiles. I was very impressed with how the students managed to keep track of all the bits and use them to full effect in their films.

Once again the difficulties of animating enough action to match the scripts came to the fore. The problem partially lies in recording the voice-over separately, rather than straight onto the animation, but this isn’t really practical. However I think that any problems like this teach the pupils a lot, and they hopefully will be very aware of the issue for future animations.

Here are some of my favourites from the sessions (I just love the Windy Bride story!):


Y1 Animations from St Thomas of Canterbury

June 30, 2011

The year 1 class from St Thomas of Canterbury attended the CLC in two halves this past couple of weeks in order to animate the stories they had been learning in lessons. The first half animated The Gruffalo, each group taking one or scenes to work on. These were all put together at the end with the voiceover recorded in class. We used the software Zu3D, as it is very easy to use and primary friendly, with the ability to add titles and audio to the animation without having to export it into another application. The pupils worked really hard to get the animations completed in a morning, although we had the common problem of struggling to have enough action to fit the voice-over. This is where one of the Zu3D features is particularly useful – the frame rate slider means you can quickly reduce the number of frames per second, in order to slow the film down.

The second half of the class animated a Funny Bones story which you can see below.


OMi-Vista use with Norfolk Park School

May 13, 2011

A class from Norfolk Park School visited the CLC over the last two weeks to use the OMi Vista interactive floor projector. The class members have a range of Special Educational Needs, and they really enjoyed the time on the mat.

Their teacher, Laura Cryer, talked about the benefits for the pupils of “learning that their actions cause a reaction on the mat”, and having “a safe environment to play with water, a media that they are wary of normally.” The water activities were particularly good for one child who could use his whole body to interact with the projection, by jumping into the pond to make ripples. She also explained that “experiencing pictures of objects in different environments helps to extend and reinforce their language”.

If you want to book your class in to use the OMi Vista, please call us on (0114) 2587728.


CLC Staff Learning Makaton

April 6, 2011

Three CLC staff are learning Makaton over a 6 week period, alongside staff from Mundella Primary School and Talbot Specialist School, and taught by Talbot School’s  Makaton Regional Tutor, Janet Screaton. Makaton is a simple sign language used in the special schools, and some primary schools, that we work with. “Makaton uses signs, symbols and speech to help people with learning and/or communication difficulties to communicate.”

We decided to learn the basics in order to help us communicate with some of the pupils who use our centre on a regular basis, and we all have to admit we’re really enjoying the classes. If you’re lucky you may get the odd video on the blog with our ‘Word of the Week’, that is if anyone will vounteer to be filmed.

If you are interested in finding out more about Makaton, visit the Makaton Charity’s website at www.makaton.org.


Totley Primary’s Eggcellent Animation Day

April 1, 2011

The Totley Primary Year 5s had a smashing time at the CLC yesterday, creating some eggcellent animations using painted hard-boiled eggs. Each group had written a story and built a set in a cardboard box for their egg characters. Unfortunately they only had a morning to complete their films, but they worked really hard and I was amazed at how much they got done – the finished films had titles and sound added, as you can see below. The biggest problem was getting the eggs to stand up, but they did make excellent characters for squishing.


Carfield Y3 Animations

April 1, 2011

Two year 3 classes from Carfield Primary School came to the CLC this term to animate their own short stories. Each group wrote a script, designed their set and brought toys and props to animate. They spent the morning using I Can Animate to create the animations, and the afternoon editing the films in Windows Movie Maker to add sound and titles.

The first class had developed some quite lengthy scripts and it soon became clear that their animations weren’t long enough to fit in all the speaking, so they had to cut out large parts. The second group therefore decided to create silent films, using only music and sound effects to enhance the action – unfortunately this meant the storyline was often unclear. The perfect balance is an action-driven story with very small amounts of narration/dialogue, and the use of titles to explain where necessary.

You can see some of the finished animations below: