Thursday, July 5, 2012

Using Go Animate in the Classroom

This week I am away on an offline vacation. Rather than let the blog be dormant or rerunning old posts I decided to give some other people a chance to share their experiences and ideas with you. I hope you enjoy the posts.

GoAnimate is a web-based video making program used to create short animated movies.  With a free account there are two options: a basic text-to-speech movie maker, and a more sophisticated program with features like character movement and scene changes.

There are school and educator discounts available for teachers interested in exploring the extra features that come with a paid account.  But while there are limitations to the basic text-to-speech video maker - no character movement, limited scene and voice choices, a 10 line maximum, and restricted ability to push the finished video to YouTube - I have found it an extremely fun and useful tool for the classroom.

Ideas for use:
As a librarian, I visit a lot of classes to give instruction sessions.  Sometimes students will see similar presentations in multiple classes during the the same semester.  The creation of a short introductory video adds a personal touch to presentations. Similarly, teachers can use GoAnimate to spark discussion over class policies or to make general announcements.

Short videos are a great way to make concepts memorable, and can easily be embedded into a PowerPoint or Prezi to break up lessons. The video above, which explains the difference between primary and secondary sources, is an example of using an animation to convey a particular idea.  A bonus of using videos in instruction is that students can view the video multiple times if needed for understanding.

Students can also make videos themselves. The basic video maker is easy enough to use that students at almost any level can create an animation immediately following a lesson to demonstrate comprehension. Alternatively, video creation can be part of a course project.

GoAnimate has proven to be a valuable - and fun - addition to the classroom!  Primary Gossip by emils on GoAnimate

Make a Movie

Erin Milanese is an adjunct instructor of Information Literacy at Harrison College and Librarian/Instructional Technology Support Specialist at Goshen College.  Follow Erin online at (Twitter: @tad_overdue). Her collection of GoAnimate videos can be viewed here