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When people think of the words "high tech", they often describe 3D and animation technologies. Explore the Animation Telling Stories channel at Vimeo for examples.

You'll find many new tools that don't fit the traditional categories. For instance, use Glogster to create posters or Museum Box to create exhibits. Increasingly libraries are using public panels as a way to convey information. Explore the Darien Public Library Panel Channel.

try itGo to the Simple Machine Blog. Watch the animations produced through a collaboration between fourth graders and tenth graders. Also read the comments to see the interaction between the collaborators.

try itWatch the story of Danny & Annie. This animation combined audio from the Story Corps project with animation from Rauch Brothers. Explore more at Vimeo Story Corps. Think about the local history projects you could do in your community.

Software Tools


3D Graphics

Whether creating a simple cartoon image or a complex reproduction of a building structure, 3D computer graphics can bring an image alive.


While some applications such as Adobe Flash take time to learn, others such as GoAnimate take only a few minutes. The key is selecting the software that best matches your need. Consider ways to combine images and audio elements. Also remember that you can incorporate photographs in addition to line drawing in many packages. Watch the GoAnimate example titled Linden Train Depot by Goat Queen on the right to see a mix of clipart and photographs. Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

try itExplore the Story of Stuff for other examples of simple animation.

Stand-Alone Software

Web-based Software

GIF Animation

GIF animation is an easy and effective, yet somewhat dated way to create simple animations. A GIF animation is simply a series of still photos that create a slideshow, show steps in a process, or provides the illusion of movement. For example you could show a series of covers from Harry Potter books. There are hundreds of tools for making these animations. A few are listed below.

In many cases, you'll combine software to create the desired effects. For example, check out Annette Griessman's Easy Animation tutorial that uses an open source drawing program called Inkscape with the inexpensive Corel Animation Shop.


A screencast is a recording of the computer screen often used for creating tutorials in most cases you can add audio narration.

Multimedia and Slide Shows

You're probably familiar with tools such as PowerPoint for creating slides shows, however there are some great online tools to help you create slide shows too. You can use these to create slide shows, then embed them in your website.

try itWatch Math Is Not Linear. Prezi was used to produce this project. Notice how the show is presented. How is this different from other slide shows you've seen?

Web-based Tools

Features of High Tech 3D Graphics, Animation, and Slide Shows

Animation tools have evolved over the past decade. Most of today's animated movies and television programs were created using computer-based animations.

Objects. Most animation software packages provide tools for creating objects. These objects can then be reused in many different ways. For example, the basic 3D rectangle can be used to make houses, desks, and trains. The basic circle becomes a baseball cap, tire, or bouncing ball.

Movement. Like objects, tools for creating movement can be applied in many ways. For example, the same technique might be used to produce the waves of a corn field, flag, or water. There are many different kinds of animation.

Read Animation from AIM Your Projects with Flash for more information about the types animation. If you want to learn more about animation, take a 1.5 hour graduate course called Flash from IUPUI-SLIS.

High Tech 3D Graphic, Animation, and Slide Shows in Learning

From showing how a submarine works to retelling a fairy tale, there are many applications of 3D graphics and animation in learning. The key is finding applications that require movement for understanding. For example, if you're teaching someone how to use a piece of computer software, animation can be used to take a learner through each screen of the program. Animation is a good choice for tutorials because the learner can see how the menus work and how the cursor moves around the screen.

Think about concepts that are difficult to learn such as science topics. Animation can be used to show now a seesaw or pendulum works. Consider projects that can't be done with video such as demonstrating how the layers of earth move during an earthquake or the movement of cancer cells in the body.

check means readGo to Animoto in Education and explore some case studies for examples.

Increasingly, students are being asked to create projects that incorporate graphic, animation, and/or slide show aspects. Explore projects by journalism students such as Photojournalism Reporting Fall 2009 and Photojournalism Spring 2009.

Digital 3D Graphics, Animation, and Slide Shows in Learning

Animation is an exciting way to promotion learning in libraries.

check means readWatch Space Animation at the Needham Public Library from YouTube.

Explore some example VoiceThread projects:

Learners, Multiple Intelligences, and Digital 3D Graphics/Animation

Use of digital 3D and animation software match well with many of Howard Gardner's intelligences including logical/mathematics, visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic and musical/rhythimic.

Using GoAnimate, young people can create interesting animated slide shows on a wide range of topics using still and motion images, cartoons and photographs, speech bubbles, music, and movement. Check out The Bozeman Trail and Billy and Bobbi Learning Something New.

Think about ways to use tools such as Glogster for book reviews. Watch Glog Book Review: The Clouds Above and Weird School Series.

Learn More

Glogster Educational Benefits

Links to the materials in this section can be found in the navigation bar on the left side of this page. You have completed this section. Continue to the arrow means an internal linkLearning Spaces: Overview page.

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