Tagged: digital storytelling

Animation 2.0 at School

Picture1Animations have already been so popular even before internet; and with the developing Web 2.0 applications, it has become an  effective and an engaging tool in the classrooms. Creating an animation has never ever been so easy and inexpensive. Today you can create yours with different graphics, characters and fun elements with very little talent.

ZimmerTwins is a simple site to make great and fun animated stories. You can start making your animation from scratch or you can create your own using one of the story starters. You choose the characters, settings, transitions, actions and emotions by using drag-and-drop feature. After, you only write the text in bubbles. You don’t need any drawing skills to make animations with Zimmertwins. 

You can create a mini animation with DVolver by pointing and clicking. You can choose the setting, characters, music at the background and how the chosen characters interact in your animation. You write what you want your characters to say and it shows up in bubbles in your animation. When you finish, you can mail it others, get a link for it or simply embed it to your blog.

Xtranormal is a site where you can create animations using text-to-speech application. You choose your animation styles and settings, characters and the voice for them. When you finish choosing all,you can write what you want your characters to say. When you have finished writing your text, there are some directions that represent cameras, looks, points, pauses etc. You can insert them into your text. When you finish your movie, you can publish it, get a link, embed or directly upload it to Youtube.

Fuzzwich is a site that lets you create 20 second animated movies. You can choose the setting, choose among ready characters or customize them by uploading your photos, text, music and movement as well. When you finish, you can get a link or embed it to your blog. 

With GoAnimate, you choose your theme and characters or you can even create your own animated characters by changing the size and colour of their body parts and clothes. You set up your theme on the timeline. You can change the background, add characters and prompts. Characters can do different actions such as walking, dancing, talking. You can use text to speech application to make your characters talk or simply record your own voice using your microphone. You can also use zooms in/out or colour effects on your video. You can upload your own music or sound effects as well. You can post them on  social networking sites or upload them on Youtube.

Domo is another site that GoAnimate features. You can create animations and slideshows. All the animations are reviewed and appropriate to use. You can add music and text to your animations.

Doink is site that lets you create flash-style animations. You can create your animations from scratch or reuse the work of others. You only have to draw the pictures step by step to animate them.

Animasher  is another site to make animations by using pictures from the gallery or you can use your pictures too. You can add music, some sound effects, text or record your own voice for your animation.

You can also use Memoov to make animations. You choose the background from the gallery, add different characters to the animation. You can change the colour of the characters or give them different emotions or movement. You can add objects too. You can write a text or make the characters speak with your own voice. You can add music and several effects. When it is done, your video will be directly sent to Youtube for easy sharing.   

Using animations is  a great way to improve different skills of kids such as reading, writing, storytelling, decision making, problem solving as well cognitive, social and innovative skills. It’s sure to facilitate learning of the kids and boost the way you are teaching.

Cross posted on TechLearning.

Back to School With Web 2.0

school-sign-green-lgSummer holiday is already over and it’s school time again for me and for many other teachers around the world. With the upcoming school year, we are all  looking for brand new ideas for the first days of our school! With the increase of teachers blogging and using technology more in their lessons, and our students becoming more and more networked and online every day, here are some Web 2.0 tools that you can start the year with:

Wallwisher is an online notice board maker and a favourite of mine recently! Each child can write about him/herself such as name, age, where they live, what they like to do and add a picture of themselves; or they can write about how they spent their summer, you can also use wallwisher to decide on the classroom rules by brainstorming with the kids or get feedback from them about  the first days of school.

Voki is a tool to create animated speaking avatars. You can create class pet/mascot/puppet that can ask questions to the children or talk about weather, day, month, the activities that the children will be doing in class that day. You can also ask children to create their own avatars that talk about themselves. If you have a class website, it’s also a good idea to have a Voki avatar that introduces you to the kids and the parents.

You can start a talk group using Voxopop. You can talk about yourself or ask questions to the kids that you want them to talk or start a discussion on any topic.Voicethread can be an alternative to Voxopop. If you give the children a book report assignment for the summer, you can ask them to leave their comments on a Voicethread by using different commenting styles. The activities that you can do with Voicethread throughout the year truly endless.

Online surveys or polls can be an interesting and a fun way to engage your children. You can use them to get to know them better or you can design a survey to learn their opinions about school,learning English or what activities they do enjoy in class. SurveyMonkey, Polldaddy, PollEverywhere can be the tools where to start!

If you want to give a quiz at the first days, you can choose a more techie way and use some online quiz generators. EasyTestMaker, HotPotatoes, QuizEgg and QuizMaker are my favourites.

What about asking children to create timelines as if they are keeping an online diary that starts from the first day of school? Xtimeline or OurStory can be some examples of these tools.

Creating an animated film may seem difficult to produce, luckily we have Web 2.0 tools to make it very easy and fun for us and for our children. Zimmertwins, Xtranormal and DVolver are my favourite tools.You can create a film starter and ask the children to guess the ending or create their own films on any topic you’ve given them. These sites are new ways to engage your kids and improve their creativity.

EduGlogster can be an awesome way to use in class all throughout the year. You can create a colourful glog for your children with links, pictures, animated pictures, colourful background, audio or with a video. You can create a glog to introduce yourself/your lesson, brainstorm ideas with kids or simply ask your children to create a glog to introduce themselves to each other.

You can also use Box.net or Drop.io to send documents online and collaborate with your kids.

If you are using different video sharing sites in your lessons, you can also have a look at SchoolTube, TeacherTube, TeachersTV, Discovery Education,KidsVid, Totlol, SchoolsTube, and SchoolWaxTV.

Web 2.0 is sure to impact the way you are teaching! Have a great year and be someone’s favourite teacher!

Cross posted on TechLearning!