Any paid application worth its salt needs to have a decent trial/lite/free version. You cannot simply buy software, walk into class, and then find out it will do what it wants and not what you need. Most teachers have the brakes on when it comes to texts ,software or new materials. Rightly so. Plumbers wouldn’t just use anything to fix your taps and a surgeon wouldn’t trial a new technique on you. We need safe options to have a chance to look and see. This year I am looking and GoAnimate .I have only just started using it with students and I like what I see. We have been labouring through the perfect tense in French. It is complicated, it requires lots of practice and my students have done well. I thought by way of reward we’d make an animation of “le weekend dernier” (last weekend). I found a ready made one on GoAnimate which the students loved and so they were keen to find out about this site. We spent a lesson just looking and learning. They loved it. They went sooooo quiet. I looked and watched. Some were naturals at animation. All were involved and enjoying it because it has plenty of tools and options. Some wanted to look at other people’s animations on the site and explained that would help them learn. It did. They were learning all sorts of content as they watched animations and then their own mock ones became good very quickly. It got the big thumbs up so we are pursuing it. I don’t let students progress into animations and comic strips without doing a storyboard first. You can search my blog and get some or look on a search engine and storyboarding templates come up quickly. I took 3 into class to see which one they wanted. They wanted them all! They wanted to see. They are not quite sure how to use them so that is today’s lesson because it will come back to the French. They need to know what their screens will be , how their story will progress and what French they need. It is easy for them to get lost in things like this and if time were limitless I’d let them follow that path. It is natural learning. I put the storyboard in to accelerate the learning and task completion. It keeps them focussed on the French. GoAnimate has a paid version and a school version with support. I do not yet know if it would be worth it, but I can see they have given me the opportunity to trial it in the wild and find out whether it is worth financial investment or not. That I appreciate.
Filed under: classroom, e-learning, methodology, resources, software, technology Tagged: | animation, animations for learning, animations in class, Go!animate, online software, software, Teaching for Effective Learning, teaching in the 21st century, technology