IT@School Project to impart animation skills to school students

IT@School Project is all set to empower the student populace in Kerala with animation movie making skills entirely based on free and open source software, through massive state-wide training programmes. The innovative training session would take the students to walk through the entire animation movie making process comprising of phases such as identification of a story line, development of script and storyboard, drawing the cartoon characters, animating them, giving sounds to characters as well as providing background music, creating titles for the films and so on.

As part of this, a special state level training was provided to five students each from the districts who secured top positions at the School IT Fests. These students would also act as resource persons in the massive training programme which would be conducted Statewide using the video conferencing facility in EDUSAT network, the first batch of which would be held from May 3rd to May 6th. Similar to the routine training programmes of IT@School Project, students who would be attending the above training at the District Edusat centre would be able to interact with the experts in this field who would be based at the Studio at Thiruvananthapuram via video conferencing. This specific training would be imparted to more than 700 selected students in the State during the first spell. Later on, additional batches which are scheduled on May 16th, 20th and 24th would witness as many as 3000 more students getting trained in animation during this vacation time itself. These students along with the Resource persons would in turn train their schoolmates in training sessions which would be held in their schools.

The free software based application- Ktoon is majorly used in creating animation films. Apart from Ktoon, similar FOSS based applications such as GIMP imaging software, Open Shot video editor which could be used for editing cartoon pictures and sound mixing, Audacity, Kden Live etc would also be used for the training purpose. As we all know, a normal animation course demands huge fees for the students and to practice these at home they have to pay huge amount as license fee for the proprietary graphics, editing and animation software. Here the course is absolutely free for the student and all these packages and applications have already been included in the operating system which was provided to all schools and teachers. “The creative output of students as a result of this ongoing process could also be used for classroom transactions as well as for content for IT@School ViCTERS channel. At present, audio recording and image editing are part of the newly introduced ICT education text book for Std 9. We would also take in to account the experience which would be gathered through the massive training programme while considering the possibilities of including animation development as a part of ICT education in Std.10 from next year onwards.”, said Shri. K.Anvar Sadath, Executive Director, IT@School Project and ViCTERS educational channel.

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