My intention is to use this page to blog about fun interactive websites which are easy to use.
Goanimate is an easy to use animation web 2.0 tool. It is easy for students to use to create fun animations to explain concepts, create movies, show or explain the effects of things, discuss issues etc. I gave my students no instructions on how to use the sight, with the exception being they needed to sign up because they may not finish before the period ended! Once signed up using our digital footprint rules – students were given no instruction on how to use the sight! Why because it is really easy to use. My students were year 9’s but some with a reading age of grade 2, no one struggled to create an animation! In fact they all created great movies / animations – it was fun as well as challenging.
So how do you use goanimate?
1. sign up
2. Click create an animation
3.Now you can choose your characters, backgrounds, add in objects etc
4.You can use items from Lil’Peepz and community stuff for free which includes a choice of people, backgrounds, objects and then speech bubbles and music and effects.
5.At the bottom is a timeline where you can extend or shorten the scene, the + and – is to add or delete a scene. You can add a scene and then change the background. You can have as many screens as you want, you can add voice sound tracks if you record in say audacity and then upload them as music!
6. If you don’t want to add your voice you can just add speech bubbles and then extend the time the scene plays for so you can read the information!
7.It is a good idea to have the students write a script first or sketch out their movie before getting onto the website – there are too many choices and to much bling and bells and whistles to distract students once logged on if they don’t have a plan.
8. Once finished you save and then you need to get the embedded code to paste it into a blog, wiki, or the Ultranet.
9. A great tool: easy to use and explore, create and design animations.
Why not use Goanimate or other fun web tools like Toondoo, Xtranormal,Pixton,create your own comic with Marvel to create different forms of testing like a cartoon, comic strip or animation. Students can use such tools to demonstrate knowledge, explain thinking or illustrate understandings of a concept and knowledge.
A wordle is a fun and interesting way to create a word cloud. If its a tool for: brainstorming, revision, free writing, identifying the main concepts, identifying keywords or mainpoints, a writing prompt or a tool to think, rethink and interpret then wordle is worth exploring.
Express yourself. instantly. Create Word Mosaic – Make Your Words Beautiful, News headlines, Wanted Posters, Sketchpad -Arrange photos, symbols, and text, Poetry Blender and more- Turn your text into something with punch. Multimedia shows with your photo, and Photo Frames – Drop your own photos into over 40 fun picture frames. Add your own text and share via email, MySpace, Facebook and more. There are also other fun tools like creating a newspaper headline, a wanted poster or breaking news flash image. There are many opportunities and possibilities to use these tools in the classroom. Students can create a headline that shows their understanding of the topic.
Students could go further and create the front page of the newspaper choosing an appropriate headline, using size, colour, lettering and symbols and an image to represent the key components of what you have learned. Students could create a wanted poster for the villain in what they are learning about – in Geography it might be the villain in global warming or the trigger for negative changes, in History it could be a protagonist or enemy of the civilization or time period being investigated. The villain in the novel being studied etc Students could create the wanted poster as the hook into the lesson and then write a narrative around their poster or they could create a picture story book and include their poster as part of the story. Alternately they could create a movie trailer for the movie ‘Wanted’ using their poster as the stimulus material. All these applications could be part of general classwork but they could also be a different form of assessment for students that allows them to apply their knowledge and understanding in creative ways rather than just regurgitate information. why not give it a try and share your results.
Create a Superhero
Ok so your thinking how does this fit into secondary schooling? Well you could use it as part of a creative writing task but i used it as a superhero for coastal management. The students had to create their coastal management superhero. Then write a job description for the hero they created. Included in the job description for him/her were answers to the following questions: Where does your superhero work? What does your superhero do (relate to coasts), Who does your superhero battle and how does your superhero overcome adversity! Students then uploaded their superhero and the interesting story/job description they created for their superhero to our class wiki.
You could apply this idea of creating a superhero for any topic or subject area and then writing a job description for the character created. It is fun activity but also importantly incorporates the application of concepts in creating a job description.