Six years old children animated the characters, created digital games and recorded their voices in English for the other children all over the world.
With the developing and emerging technologies at the last decades of the 20th century, our children have become more collaborative, interactive, online and digital than ever. As our children are the digital natives in the 21st century, the easiest way to reach them is to use technology and digital games. There is no doubt that audio and visual materials facilitate learning (and specifically English language learning), but while there are many digital games that may be fun to play, unfortunately they often don't include educational goals and outcomes. This was the primarily motive to start this project.
"Bubble and Pebble" digital games were created by kindergarten students of the Terakki Foundation Schools in Istanbul, Turkey. The children were given the chance to create their own learning/teaching materials, combining their English, IT and animation skills, and to share the result with children from all over the world.
They drew and coloured the two main
characters, the boy Bubble and the girl Pebble, the
game backgrounds and the objects in the games. As the children were learning how to animate pictures in their animation lessons, they animated the pictures of the digital games, putting together the drawings as frames of a stop-motion animation. The children recorded their voices in English, thus practising their pronunciation in English.
Each child did something to design the digital games and some children also suggested drawings they had made at home to be included in their games. Recording their voices for the digital games was very important for the children and this increased their motivation in English classes.
It has been an inspiring and motivational project for the children and the teachers. We have used these digital games in our English lessons two times a week in our computer lab. According to the topics that the children have learnt, they have played the games, revised and reinforced what they have learnt in the classroom, improved their pronunciation and simply loved playing and learning English with them.
English, IT and Animation teachers have come together to create this project. We aimed for the teachers to collaborate to create a new project for the benefit of the children by using new developing technologies in education and fostering children's learning and cognitive development by providing rich, fun and stimulating experiences. This project can also stimulate information exchange between teachers, lead them to become more creative, collaborative, open minded and innovative and one of the benefits is that the new project can be further developed over time. This project is an extraordinary and a unique teaching/learning material for children and educators from all over the world and we are glad to see comments from people across the world through blogs and tweets.