Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2015
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Easy Studio Stop-Motion Studio

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

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Teachers say (2 Reviews)
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Grades
K-2 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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5 images

Pros: Simple tutorial and lessons give students 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 students.

Easy Studio is a superb way to not only introduce students 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 students: 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 students understand how empowering digital technology can be to the creative process.

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Easy Studio Stop-Motion Studio is a success-oriented app that empowers students 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 students; they can fill in images of animated geometric shapes, a train, and an airplane to create simple animated scenes in just a few minutes. Students 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, students 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. Students 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 students who speak English, Arabic, Chinese, traditional Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, or Turkish.

 

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Students can learn basic animation skills, along with sequencing, following directions, and how geometric shapes can interact to create objects and designs. As students 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 students to understand the process of animation and then free-create in Expert Mode.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
5

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?
4

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?
4

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.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Jim V. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Marshall Elementary School
Wexford, PA
3
Creative Geometric Animation for Younger Students

Altogether, I think that is a simple to use app that allows for creativity to extend any geometry lesson. There are many choices of shapes, backgrounds, stencils, and other items that students can choose from to create their own animation. Each feature available is easy to use and students quickly learn how to use the app. This app is a great starter app for animation, and can be a catalyst for future projects involving other animation apps or even green screening apps. If possible, I think it would be helpful to add some more functionality to this app, such as audio recording, typing features, and being to draw or write. This would allow students to create projects and share their creations with other students.

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