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Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2015

ABCya Animate

Easy-to-learn tool empowers beginning animators

Common Sense says
Teachers say (3 Reviews)
$avg_user_learning_rating
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Grades
K-3 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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5 images

Pros: Short video tutorial shows how to use controls and create animations.

Cons: Provides no option to add narration.

Bottom Line: Students learn how animations work and how to create their own.

Use ABCya Animate to show students how animations are created. Once students understand how animation works and how to use the tool, they can use it to create short animated movies to demonstrate their understanding in many other subject areas. After a study on insects, for example, students could create an animation of the life cycle of a butterfly. Or they could use the app to retell a short story read in language arts or bring to life an event studied in social studies. The possibilities are endless, especially in project-based learning environments. This creative tool will engage students and help them demonstrate their knowledge and solidify their understanding.

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Editor's Note: ABCya Animate is no longer available in the U.S. app store; however, it is available in Australia.

ABCya Animate helps students easily create their own animated movies as a video tutorial shows them how to use each of the commands. Starting from a white screen, students can create their own background (from the iPad's camera roll) or use one from ready-made library of. They then draw using four sizes of pencil and 36 colors, or add images from the categories of transportation, landscape, animals, foods, people, and fun objects. They can move and size objects, flip them, or arrange them in front of or behind other objects. To save a frame and add it to the film roll, students hit "copy frame" and then add to the next frame -- up to 99 frames. They can set the background, view the previous frame, and clear a frame easily. There's no way to record voice-overs or add custom music, though the background tune can be changed in the parent/teacher section. Movies can be played once or on a loop. Creations can only be saved to the gallery on the device or exported to the camera roll and shared from there.

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ABCya Animate is a blast for students who want to dip their toes into animation. The drawing interface is easy to navigate, and all the commands are visible on-screen. With 99 frames, students have plenty of room to build a short animated film, and the dozens of included images provide the versatility to incorporate lots of elements. Students can't add their own narration, which limits ABCya Animate when compared to other animation apps like Easy Studio Stop-Motion Studio and Toontastic 3D. The video tutorial is very helpful for showing students how to create animations, so consider this app a good introduction to the animation process and a way for students to successfully create some basic animations.

 

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Commands are very kid-friendly, and students will quickly see their creations in action, rewarding their efforts and encouraging them to create more.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Students learn how animation works through hands-on exploration. Plenty of space is available to save new animations, so students can create, watch, and improve upon their animations.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

A video tutorial shows how to use all the commands. Animations are saved in the gallery and can be exported to the camera roll for sharing beyond the app.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews)
Featured review by
Melissa Z. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Liberty
Springfield, MA
5
Animation Made Simple

I really like this tool. I am a technology teacher so for me it is a great tool to teach slow motion movies. I recommend this program to children from K-3. You could easily have the students create a movie on the screen and than write a story about their movie. This could kick off a writing assignment or it could be a follow up from a writing assignment. You are limited to their images, but I think the gallery has a lot of stuff so the students can easily create a story off of it.

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