I was trying to figure out how my child knows so much about the bible lately and it turns out her teacher has been using the Animated Kids Bible in the Classroom. Basically the kids watch a DVD inserted into a player and it is projected right in the classroom.
This works well because most kids, whether they are five or fifteen years old seem to be hypnotized by any type of television or movie screen. Audio visual aids make them as quiet as the television odes at home. Guess the teacher figured out that kids are likely to be very attentive to any type of subject matter once animation is involved.
The use of sophisticated animation is already being used to teach future doctors biology and human anatomy but of course it also has other applications when it comes to helping simplify concepts and also repeating those concepts through the use of a playback function on the DVD player. I notice that my kids watch the same thing again and again and don't mind rewinding. This is of course the rote way to learn.
Some animators and teachers are now referring to learning materials that bridge the gap between entertainment and education as 'edutainment.' My kids are watching this new Animated Kid's Bible series at school definitely falls into this new and unique category of digital media. This is because children (and adults too!) are so enraptured with the novelty of 3D CGI (three dimensional computer generated images. My kids told me that there is nothing that looks so real and they are right!
This type of animation is so detailed and so refined that many people watching the Kid's Animated Bible will find themselves transported to an alternate world where they can watch the creation of women from Adam's Rib, Moses come down the mountain and smash the tablets and the seven plagues of Egypt and also The Birth of Christ.
Some educators are reluctant to use animations as teaching tools but it is because they have yet to realize the medium's full potential to help children retain what they are watching and learning. The idea is to convince students that watching this video is not just an escape route from reality but rather a story that they will be quizzed on after the presentation.
It is handy for a DVD to be paused, replayed or played forward. This allows the teacher to create on the spot quizzes about what might happen next. The pause functions also allow students to take notes while they are watching the stories being told in the Kid's Animation Bible. The secret is to let your student's know that even though they are watching an incredible piece of 3D animation that they are still supposed to be learning and retaining everything that are being taught.
Sunday school teachings were never easier!