It’s 2018 – books are no longer the only material providing education and entertainment simultaneously. Animation has become a vehicle to promote learning and provides several benefits for a child’s development. But how exactly does animation affect children’s brains?
Animations are characterized by a sequence of quickly changing images that create an illusion. The human brain has a short delay in processing the images, which results in the illusion that images are in motion, creating a moving image.
Today’s educational structure is constantly challenged with providing enough exposure to promote linguistic, cognitive and physical development. The cerebral cortex grows thicker as we learn to use it. Therefore, animation has shown to positively impact a child’s development in several competence areas. Not only can animation benefit necessary life skills like inclusion and problem solving, is also promotes usage of all senses which results in greater understanding and memory function.
How Animation Affects Children’s Brains
The child’s imagination is nourished by images and audiovisual exposure that promotes imagination.
21st Century Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
Research indicates that the isolation and merging of images leads to an understanding of objects in motion. Understanding the concept of persistence of vision thus supports children to solve complex problems.
All children are born with innate creative powers, however in the progression of life they may become dormant, which animation could counteract. Technology may be used as an asset to keep creativity intact and flowing. The inclusion of a story further promotes communication and helps to explore meaning of their own work and experience. Here’s some information about what happens in your brain when you hear a good story.
- Critical and Analytical Thinking
Animation videos can be used to describe everyday situations, and are designed to provoke discussion and stimulate thinking. Further, they promote group discussion which can enhance students’ formation of ideas and critical thinking as well as developing verbal skills. Animation combines the aspects of creativity and academics, which aids children’s critical and analytical thinking.
Brain Growth and Memory Enhancement
Recent studies indicate that videos can stimulate the growth of new neurons and connect regions in the brain responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning. Therefore animation videos may boost the brain to grow by three times and enhances memory by up to 65%. More information can be relayed in shorter time.
Spatial relationships relates to objects, their size, location, shape and relation to one another. Moving images can make the connection and aids the children in understanding it at a deeper level.
Using animation as a teaching tool is proven to positively impact the child’s learning. The use of several skills simultaneously creates more in depth connections and makes learning real. This will promote life-long learning.
- Visual & Auditory
Lessons become more reliable when taught through a character. The children use a range of senses when viewing animations. By connecting the visual and auditory senses, the latter is accelerated and the visual sense is trained. The brain automatically becomes skilled in making connections, which leads to higher recognition of objects and retention. Perceiving complex number senses is simplified by presenting academics in a new format.
However, as with any supportive tool, extensive exposure can lead to overstimulation and may result in negative impacts on the child. Nonetheless, the benefits are evident, it simply requires teachers and parents to be mindful when using animation.