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Principal by day, innovator by night Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Jul 26 2014 12:00 PM

Move over Superman, a principal from Eastlake Elementary School is taking over Comic-Con from noon to 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 27.

Principal Dr. Eric Banatao and children’s book author Marie Zhivago will host a panel in room 30CDE called “Innovation in Education: Basic Cartoon and Animation Using Vector Graphic Tools for Kids.”

The panel will discuss how students at Eastlake Elementary learned basic cartoon and animation using an industry standard vector-based app and software on iPads and computers.

At the school kids learn early how to use current technological tools to help stimulate and develop their creative imagination.

“We’re going to talk about how what we’re doing fits within the current educational trends of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication as it is mentioned in the common core,” Banatao said.

Banatao said Comic-Con organizers invited them because the original intention of Comic-Con was to educate the public about comics and the arts.

But over the years, Comic-Con has turned into something bigger, so to keep an educational component at this year’s event Banatao and Zhivago were asked to host a panel discussion.

“The organizers found us and reached out to us for education,” he said.

To start the panel, Banato will play a video created by students explaining the technological culture at Eastlake Elementary.

Zhivago, a teacher volunteer at Eastlake Elementary School, has an extensive background in animation.

She will be on hand to talk about her professional experience as a cartoonist, children’s book author and businesswoman.

She will also discuss  the evolution of Eastlake’s animation program, which she is in charge of.

Zhivago’s teaches students ages 6 to 12.

“The generation today are very fast learners,” she said about teaching young children.

Projects that students have done in Zhivago’s class include creating caricatures and still pictures through the use of Adobe Illustrator.

Although he is a panelist, this will be Banatao’s first time at Comic-Con.

“Having never been there before I’m just going to try and soak it all in,” he said.

Banatao said he hopes those in attendance will understand the importance of catering technology to students in the 21st century.

“I think the only thing that stands in the way of kids and the use of technology sometimes is the adults,” he said. “If we don’t equip ourselves as adults to teach these kids then technology is going to be passing them by.”

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