What Are Educational Animation Videos and How to Create Them

Imagine sitting in a classroom, but instead of the usual humdrum lectures, an animated character walks you through the intricacies of quantum physics. That’s the allure of educational animation – it transforms learning from a mundane task into a captivating journey.

What is the Value of Educational Animation? 

It is an educational approach that utilizes cartoons and animations to help teachers explain tricky stuff that might be hard to understand. When students watch these animated videos, it’s like they get to see and understand complicated things in a fun way. It makes learning easier and more enjoyable!

Educators can create animated content efficiently thanks to user-friendly tools. The rise of platforms like Vyond and Powtoon empowers teachers to produce high-quality animations without a degree in animation. This democratization of content creation means educators can deliver engaging lessons without being animation experts.

The Efficacy of Animation as a Teaching Tool – Insights from Research

In learning, educational animation isn’t just eye candy; it’s a cognitive powerhouse. 

Research reveals that the dynamism of motion in animations doesn’t just grab attention; it holds it hostage. Take the example of a study at the University of Sheffield, where students exposed to animated content showed a 20% increase in information retention compared to traditional methods.

The novelty factors in educational animations change the game. Researchers found that medical students retain more information after viewing an animation without narration compared with an equivalent graphic whether or not that graphic had a legend. 

Another research done at the Chinese University of Hong Kong demonstrated that animated explainers could deliver complicated concepts more explicitly to the students. 

Besides that, multiple anecdotal reports from educators show that introducing novel and visually appealing elements in educational content captures students’ interest and boosts their intrinsic motivation to learn. 

The Advantages of Video for Educators

Animated videos for education aren’t just for entertainment; they’re a game-changer in teaching.

Animations become memory catalysts with their fusion of visuals, audio, and motion. Picture this: a history lesson that unfolds like a vivid story, making historical events more than just dates on a page. It’s the kind of storytelling that sticks with you.

And who said learning can’t be fun? Injecting humor into educational animations is like adding a secret sauce. It’s not just entertaining; it creates a positive and memorable learning experience. Think of it as the TED-Ed series, where complex concepts are simplified with humor, making the content informative and enjoyable.

Unlimited replay does its magic, too. Imagine a student struggling with a math concept – they can replay the animated explanation until the lightbulb moment happens. It’s like having a personal tutor available 24/7.

Utilizing Animated Videos for Effective Teaching

Educators are not just adopting animated videos; they are redefining teaching methods with animation for education.

Flipped Classroom Approach

Instead of traditional homework, students engage with animated prep sessions at home, leaving classroom time for dynamic discussions. Khan Academy successfully implemented this model, where students watch instructional videos as homework, freeing up class time for interactive problem-solving.

Introducing and Explaining New Concepts

  • Visualizing abstract ideas. Animated videos bring abstract concepts to life, making complex subjects like molecular reactions simpler to grasp.
  • Step-by-step demonstrations. For concepts requiring a breakdown, animations guide students through step-by-step processes, whether a mathematical equation or a historical event.
  • Engagement through storytelling. Narrative-driven animations turn potentially dry subjects into engaging stories, aiding attention retention and understanding.

Reinforcement and Revision of Knowledge

  • Visual recap of complex topics. Animated videos succinctly recap complex topics, providing a visual refresher for better memory recall, like summarizing the laws of motion in physics.
  • Dynamic representation of historical events. Educational animation brings to life historical timelines and events, offering an immersive experience beyond static images or text.
  • Interactive elements for engagement. Interactive features within animations, such as quizzes, turn revision sessions into active engagement and self-assessment opportunities.

Assignments and Assessments

Educators design tasks based on animated content in a digital transformation, challenging students to apply theoretical knowledge practically. This approach, showcased in various MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), ensures that learning goes beyond rote memorization.

  • Application-based assignments. Animated videos open avenues for application-based assignments, allowing students to create presentations to showcase their understanding creatively.
  • Assessing critical thinking through animations. Assignments requiring animated explanations compel students to articulate ideas visually.
  • Scenario-based assessments. Animated scenarios can be presented in assessments, asking students to analyze or simulate processes, and providing practice for theoretical concepts.

In essence, animated videos revolutionize education by enhancing concept introduction, reinforcing knowledge, and transforming assignments and assessments into dynamic, engaging experiences.

Creating Your Educational Animated Videos

So, how do you create compelling educational animations?

  1. Start with a solid plan. Identify learning objectives, pinpoint critical concepts, think of the effect you’d like to have on the audience and outline your video structure in a storyboard. This planning phase is crucial, like outlining the plot before writing a novel.
  2. Crafting a script is akin to weaving a spell. Write a script that not only educates but also tells a compelling story. The script is the backbone of your animation, much like dialogue is in a movie.
  3. Storyboarding is your visual roadmap of breaking your story into separate frames. It ensures a seamless flow of information, like a director planning each scene before shooting a film.
  4. Recording voiceovers adds the final touch. A clear and articulate voice enhances the overall impact of your animation. Think of Morgan Freeman narrating a documentary – the voice matters.
  5. Leverage templates for efficiency. Templates act as blueprints, maintaining a consistent visual style throughout your educational videos. They are like shortcuts to professional-looking content.
  6. Incorporate graphs, charts, and visual metaphors to make complex information digestible. Think of it as turning dry statistics into an interactive infographic.
  7. Experiment with animation for education in techniques like motion graphics, 2D or 3D animation, and kinetic typography. The goal is to create an attractive and dynamic learning experience.
  8. Share your educational content strategically. Choose platforms that resonate with your audience. After all, a great story deserves an eager audience.

12 Examples of Animated Educational Videos

A picture is worth a thousand words, and an educational animated video is made of a thousand pictures. Let’s check real-world examples of educational animation excellence to prove our point.

  1. The University of Utah 

They employ animated videos in biology courses, transforming abstract biological concepts into visual narratives that resonate with students.

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​​2. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

Kurzgesagt creates captivating animations to explain complex scientific concepts and global issues. Their videos cover topics like the Fermi Paradox, the immune system, and the future of humanity, presented in a visually stunning and easily digestible format.

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3. TED-Ed

TED-Ed brings lessons to life with animated videos created by educators and animators. These videos cover many thought-provoking concepts, historical events, and scientific phenomena, making learning an engaging experience.

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4. Crash Course

Crash Course, created by Hank and John Green, offers animated educational content on various subjects. Their videos use humor and visual storytelling, from literature to science and history, to make learning entertaining and memorable.

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5. MinutePhysics

MinutePhysics uses simple yet captivating animations to explain complex physics concepts in under a few minutes. Henry Reich’s whiteboard-style animations make theoretical physics accessible and enjoyable for a broad audience.

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6. The School of Life

The School of Life explores philosophical and psychological topics through animated videos. Their content fosters personal development and understanding through themes like emotional intelligence, relationships, and self-reflection.

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7. CGP Grey

CGP Grey uses animated infographics to explain complex systems, historical events, and political concepts. With a distinct visual style and clear narration, his videos simplify intricate topics, making them accessible to a broad audience.

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8. AsapSCIENCE

AsapSCIENCE fills animated videos for education with humor to explore scientific questions and curiosities. From biology to physics, their videos cover a spectrum of topics in a fun and engaging manner, appealing to students and curious minds.

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9. Vsauce

Vsauce, hosted by Michael Stevens, dives into mind-bending questions and explores the limits of human curiosity. Through animated sequences and thought experiments, Vsauce immerses into science and philosophy’s strange and fascinating aspects.

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10. History Matters

History Matters uses animated narratives to bring historical events to life. Their videos cover many historical periods and figures, providing an engaging peek into the past.

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11. Wisecrack

Wisecrack combines philosophy with pop culture through animated videos. Exploring the philosophical underpinnings of movies, TV shows, and video games, Wisecrack provides a unique perspective on both entertainment and thought-provoking ideas.

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These examples showcase the versatility of animated educational videos, demonstrating how animation can effectively communicate complex ideas across various subjects for any business.

12. BONUS – The Animated Nuclear Preparedness Videos from 1950s

The history of animated educational videos is quite fascinating, as it merges the development of animation technology with educational theory and practice. The beginning of using animated films for educational purposes in schools and on television started in the post-World War II era with significant advancements in technology. The animated nuclear preparedness videos from this period have become a pop culture phenomenon and inspired ultra-successful computer games since.

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In 1980s, the rise of television as a household medium saw an increase in animated educational content. Shows like “Schoolhouse Rock!” in the United States became iconic for using catchy, animated songs to teach topics ranging from math and grammar to history and science. 

The advent of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in 1990s allowed for more sophisticated and visually appealing animations, and lastly, the internet era has revolutionized animated educational content. Online platforms like YouTube, educational websites, and apps have made animated educational videos more accessible than ever. Now shows like “Dora the Explorer” and websites like Khan Academy utilize animation to engage and educate children and adults alike in a wide range of subjects.

Throughout its history, animated educational videos have evolved from simple, hand-drawn animations to complex, interactive digital media. They have become a crucial tool in modern education, offering engaging, visual, and often interactive ways to learn for students of all ages.

Explain Ninja Expertise in Creating Animated Educational Videos

At Explain Ninja, we don’t just create animations; we tell stories. Our animators collaborate with educators to craft engaging education explainer video reels that simplify complex concepts. Look at our works, and you’ll see how we turn education into an adventure, one frame at a time.

Conclusion

Educational animation videos are not just a technological novelty; they are the storytellers of the education revolution. Whether you’re an educator aiming to captivate your audience or a maker of engaging content, animated videos are your passport to a new era of learning. It’s not just about watching; it’s about experiencing education in a new light – lights, camera, education!

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