Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2015

Easy Studio - Introduction to Animation

Ideal, easy-to-use way to help kids learn basic animation

Common Sense Says:
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K-2 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Simple tutorial and lessons give kids all the tools and tips they need to create their first animations.

Cons: Manipulating the shapes to resize and rotate can be difficult at first.

Bottom Line: This introduction to digital animation offers lots of opportunities for creativity for young kids.

Easy Studio is a superb way to not only introduce kids to the process of animation but also help them experience how geometric shapes interact and combine to make other shapes, objects, patterns, and designs. Consider introducing the topic of animation with a simple paper flip book, showing how animation occurs in its simplest form. Then introduce this app's basic tutorial and show how tapping to take a photo of each motion is similar to flipping to the next page in the flip book. This app really highlights the power of digital technology creation for kids: Comparing the amount of time it takes to create a seconds-long paper flip book to how long it takes to create a similar animation digitally will help kids understand how empowering digital technology can be to the creative process.

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Easy Studio - Introduction to Animation is a success-oriented app that empowers kids to try their hand at basic animation. Based entirely on creating moving scenes with colorful shapes, this app includes a fun tutorial in Easy Mode that's simple enough for even young kids; they can fill in images of animated geometric shapes, a train, and an airplane to create simple animated scenes in just a few minutes. Kids simply fill in shapes, take a snapshot, fill in more shapes, take another snapshot, and so on, until they complete the animated scene. They then press Play and watch the action. Students can resize and rotate shapes, and they can combine colors to make different colors. After Easy Mode, kids move on to Expert Mode, which includes all the shapes and tools of Easy Mode with no creative limitations. They simply press Play or tap into the Library to watch saved animations. Kids can also add an audio track with sounds they record themselves (requires access to the device's microphone) or with pre-recorded musical notes and silly sounds. In-app language settings can adjust text directions for kids who speak English, Arabic, Chinese, traditional Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, or Turkish.


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Kids can learn basic animation skills, along with sequencing, following directions, and how geometric shapes can interact to create objects and designs. As kids use the tools in this app, they'll also use their imaginations and fine motor skills to make new digital creations, and they'll increase their understanding by synthesizing the knowledge they gain through the tutorials and leveled lessons in Easy Mode. These lessons build on one another to establish a framework that allows kids to understand the process of animation and then free-create in Expert Mode.

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Overall Rating

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

If kids follow the tutorial and lessons, creating a simple animated video is nearly a sure thing on this well-designed, step-by-step app. Kids will have so much fun creating and sharing their animations!

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

Easy Mode's template-based introduction to combining shapes and creating animations empowers kids to think procedurally and create whatever they can imagine in Expert Mode.

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

Kids learn the how-to's of animation through the tutorial and Easy Mode lessons. Kids can view the elapsed time in each animation via a bar on the bottom of the screen, and they can save and view all their own animations in the Library.

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Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

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