Brush Ninja is a fun way for students to learn about animation, to illustrate the concepts they have just learnt, or to add some colour to their presentations. Alternatively it can be a fun, free, way for teachers to present by using it as an animated whiteboard.
Science shows that there is a connection between drawing things, and remembering things. Drawing things encourages people to think of topics in multiple ways, which makes them easier to recall later. Animating things takes this a step further. The addition of movement introduces repetition which reinforces the topic being learnt.
Check out some examples of Brush Ninja being used in education.
Benefits of Brush Ninja?
- Brush Ninja is free. There’s an optional paid version but it only adds a handful of extra features - for the power users. For most users the web version is perfectly adequate. And of course, free software keeps costs down. No software licenses, no new hardware. It just works.
- There’s no logins needed. You can open the website and get started.
- It’s simple to use. My objective has been to make it as easy to use as possible. My 2 and a half year old can (and does) create animations in Brush Ninja. They are just random shapes, not intentional stories or anything advanced, but he can draw, add new frames, and play back what he has made.
How to use Brush Ninja in Education?
- To illustrate concepts & knowledge. Reinforce the things students have learnt by getting them to create a slideshow with key information.
- Show their working. Particularly useful for Mathematics, students can display their thought process and then tidy the animation up to show the final result.
- Animated Ideas. Brush Ninja is a great way to jot down ideas for creative projects.
- Presentations. Add some colour to presentations by creating simple animations of the topic being presented.
Useful Resources for Teachers
- Padlet. A simple online noticeboard. A great place for students to post their animations. They can be grouped on different boards per topic. Below are some examples of Padlet in action:
- A collection of animations created by students looking forward to their holiday break.
- A look at the character of Margarete/ Gretchen from Faust
- Buncee. A presentation app that you can add your Brush Ninja animations to.
- How to Use Brush Ninja (Youtube Video)
- Using Brush Ninja and Screencastify to Make Science Presentations
- How to use Brush Ninja to teach Chinese (Youtube Video, in Chinese)