Movie Maker is available on many computers, although for newer versions of Windows (Windows 7) it is likely that this will need to be downloaded. Movie Maker allows you to create short movies using photographs, short video clips, music and sounds, and can therefore be useful in a variety of ways in school. For example, Movie Maker could be used to introduce a task, to allow children to present findings or to explore a process. There are a number of possibilities, which is a great advantage as the program can therefore be used flexibly in order to support individual children/classes and can be tailored to their needs. Movie Maker is also a great resource for creating animations.


'What better way than to use humor, color, and movement - all components of animation - to expose and engage our students in learning today's technology skills for tomorrow's future' (Clemons, 1998: p12).
Animation can provide a practical and visual way of learning. Within school, it is particularly beneficial as it can be used to capture and retain children's attention and can support and foster the development of creativity (Clemons, 1998).



Traditional animation (drawn animation) and cel animation are a type of animation where 'stepped' pictures are drawn, and when seen quickly in order this gives the effect of movement. Cel animation was the type of animation initially used by Walt Disney. Here, images were drawn onto transparent sheets so that original images/positions can be used a number of times.


Traditional animation and cel animation can now be created using ICT (see more recent Disney animations). One example of a piece of free software which can be used to create drawn animation is Pivot Man. Pivot Man allows you to manouvre a stick man/image and when played in order, this presents the figure as moving.



The animation above was created using Windows Movie Maker. This is particularly good to use when working with children as it allows you to make high quality animations simply and easily, provided the resources and ideas (i.e. a storyboard, photographs etc.) are prepared beforehand. The fish animation was made using stop motion animation. The photgraphs are simply imported into Movie Maker, and the images are dragged and dropped into the appropriate order. The user is then able to adjust the timings accordingly, and add any audio or sound effects that they wish to also include. Nonetheless, when using Movie Maker in school to create animations, it is important to consider the following:


It is also important to ensure that when adding audio to movies/animations that 'royalty-free' music is downloaded as this helps to prevent copyright issues (I have used royalty-free music in the tea-making video). Below I have provided some useful links for this:

Stop motion animation can also be created using models, such as clay models. One popular example of this is shown in the clip of the animation 'Morph' below:

Stop motion animation can be used to support teaching and learning in a number of subject areas alongside ICT. For example, the tea-making animation may support Literacy (instructional texts), and the stop motion clay animation could be used to develop different skills in Art. The possibilities are endless!