From the desktop to the classroom, teachers are dabbling in DIY animation cause, heck, why not. Be it 2D, 3D or stop motion, animations, and the act of animating, can become a central part of learning, even, apparantly, in primary school. One favored tool is xtranormal STATE which turns text into a 3D animated movie and it's completely free. Write your story, pick your characters and get dragging and dropping. Of course, it's only available on Windows. D-oh!
If you're happy with 2D, you can still make instant movies with the web-based GoAnimate which is kind of like playing with color forms online - only now they have dialogue, camera moves, visual effects and celebrity faces. Remember color forms!? (Nostalgic sigh....)