Accessible Animation

Your students probably don’t know who Monty Python was. You may not even know who they were.1

But certainly one of the very memorable parts of the essential British sketch comedy programme from the 70’s and 80’s were the amazing interstitial animations created by the only American Python, Terry Gilliam.

In this video from 1974, Gilliam demonstrates his relatively simple process, using illustrations cut from old books and magazines, mixed with a lot of imagination, to tell short, funny stories. Or just be very silly.

This is often called stop motion animation and the technique is still being used in 2017, most notably by the animators at South Park.

It’s also a process that is very accessible for students in telling their stories.

It starts with illustrations that can come from a variety of sources, and then requires only a camera like the one that’s probably in their pocket and one of many video editing apps.

Something fun to start the school year.

And Now For Something Completely Different

I admit it. I’m a sucker for a Monty Python reference. When one pops up in my aggregator, I’ll click on it with no clue as to where it will lead.

However, the link to Ewen’s post about a series of articles in the Times Educational Supplement Scotland on the educational system in Finland was well worth the trip.

While I’m sure there’s much more than meets the eye, their success seems to boil down to a high degree of trust for the students combined with high expectations for their learning.

As opposed to our general lack of trust for kids and lowest-common-denominator approach in the US.