November 3

Go Animate

Have been checking out GoAnimate for the last hour.

I read about this on http://www.teach42.com/ a blog that I’ve just recently discovered, that I’m loving. At the moment, I’m trying out their “30 days to a better blog”…but more about that later.

Since I have a fair amount of knowledge in Flash, I approached GoAnimate quite skeptically. After about 10 minutes fiddling around with their very simple interface, I think that it may be a great animation tool for those that know absolutely nothing (and don’t need to) about the technical skill of animation. I’m definately planning on implementing this into my Year 7 Technology (Mandatory) class, but also see it as a very simple tool for effective implementation of ICT into any curriculum.

I’ve done some claymation in class to teach complex problems, and have found this really easy to do, and very motivating for students. The best tool for this is JPEG Video, which is a free program that takes a sequence of images (for example, from a camera) and automatically pieces them together into an AVI.

Some ways to use this in the classroom involve:

  • Digital Storytelling: English, HSIE, technology, Science, really any subject that involves any kind of narrative.
  • Idea Communciation: A tool for presenting an idea that may (hopefully) stimulate conversation by students. Eg, “create a video presenting safety issues in the workshop”
  • Responding to ideas: You could create a video log, responding to each others animations.
  • Awareness Programs: Students could create awareness programs for relevant issues, such as health issues for PDHPE, Environment in Science, TAS, HSIE
  • Interpretation of texts: Converting different texts in English to an animation. This could also be used for fairly fact based texts by presenting them in an unusual way.
  • Mise en scene: Creation of animation helps in the understanding of setting the scene.
  • Drama: creative interpretation

Advantages:

  • Students can collaborate on ideas.
  • Great for literacy skills
  • Students plan out their animation before creating. Allows for development of storytelling/narrative skills.
  • It’s very motivating. Students get really excited about it.
  • You avoid the inevitable “But I can’t draw!” Comments
  • Good for kinesthetic students that need to move things around to understand concepts

Overall, aside from being a little slow (on my connection), Go animate seems like an excellent tool for students and teachers, as they don’t need to know anything about animation, and is extremely easy to use.

For comments: What experiences have you had with animations in the classroom? Do students find it motivating? Is it a good learning tool?