Monday, November 26, 2012

GoAnimate - a quick way to teach (and re-teach) quick ideas

GoAnimate is another one of those great free web tools that have the potential to bring your lessons to life.  It's one of those tools I really love because it creates immediate engagement, is useful for all kinds of topics, all kinds of lessons, and all age levels, and it's very very fast and easy!

Just sign up for an free account (this somewhat limits your scenes and characters, but if you're just using it once in awhile that's ok), and you are ready to make a video.  Quickly choose a setting and your two characters, type in your dialogue, and hit "Publish".  That's it!  As soon as the video is generated, you can listen to it, and still go back and edit if need be.  Once it's all ok, hit save.  At that point you can tweet it, Facebook it, or get an embed code to post it to your blog, webpage, or wiki.

How can you use this in your classroom?

If you use a blog, website, or wiki to post your resources on for your classes, this is a no-brainer!  It can be a great introduction to a concept that students can refer back to whenever they need to. Or you can simply keep it stored with the videos in your account on GoAnimate and show it on the overhead as part of an interactive whole-class lesson.  It appeals to different learning styles. It is engaging. You can insert your own ideas, sense of humor, etc., and make the videos as interesting, exciting, engaging as you'd like. You can make several different videos of the same concept for varying ability and readiness levels.

The following GoAnimate video is one I made for a lesson in identifying the difference between there, their, and they're.  It is meant to be an interactive lesson that students can do on their own, with a partner, or simply refer back to as a reference.  It could also be used as a whole class activity or review.

Let me stress that this video took me literally under 5 minutes to make from start to finish - that includes embedding it!

There, Their, and They're by tweisz on GoAnimate

Animated Presentations - Powered by GoAnimate.

More resources for help and information

If you're looking for some step-by-step instructions in a screen cast, or more high school applicable ideas, Heather Lapouraille and Loraine Phillips have a great series on iTunes U called Teaching With Tech in HS Classrooms, and they have a video episode specifically for GoAnimate.  All of their podcasts are free!

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