Looking for an easy to use animation program to use in the classroom? If so, try Pencil.
From the Pencil website:
Pencil is an animation/drawing software for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vector graphics. Pencil is free and open source.
I started to use Pencil with my Teen 2 and Teen 3 Immersion Vietnamese and Korean students at the American International School where I teach part-time. I gave them two days (I only see them twice a week) to play and get a feel for Pencil. My goal was to see if they could teach themselves how to use Pencil (Pencil is still lacking a good tutorial at this time).
It has now been two weeks since they started to use it. They love it. Several are downloading it at home to use since they will not have my class for two weeks due to the Vietnamese holidays.
What impressed me even more was that most of them were able to create moving animations and short clips with Pencil just after two weeks.
I NEVER told them how to use it. They did it on their own. Pencil is that simple. It is probably one of the easiest animation programs for children to learn. Kudos to the Pencil development team. They got a winner for the educational environment.
During the next two weeks, my students will have to decide what they want to do for their Pencil project. I am requiring them to create a 5 minute clip, 10 minutes if they team up with a partner. I will upload their projects at the end of May when they are completed.
Oh, one more thing, I have no idea how to use Pencil, myself. My philosophy in all of my classes is to have the students teach THEMSELVES how to use various software applications. So far, it is working 🙂
Pictures of my students using Pencil on my computer lab below: