I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I really don’t understand Flash. I’ve sat in on a couple of workshops to learn how to use it, but there’s just something about “Tweens” and stuff that I just don’t get. Because of that, I’ve constrained myself to comic strips and the like.
On a friend’s reccomendation, I checked out GoAnimate and was pretty impressed with just how easy it was to create a decent looking animation. They have a library of stock characters and backgrounds to choose from, along with sound effects, songs and more. Choose a background, choose an object or chacter to put into it, and away you go!
I went with the classic classroom setting, populated it with students and noticed that if I clicked on a character, a contextual menu popped up. Choices included movement (walking or sliding to a new location), or choosing one of about 20-25 animations (happy, sad, crying, laughing, and of course a few sophmoric ones). I could also add callouts and captions as desired. So I set a few up, and then clicked on Add Frame, which duplicated the current state minus all the callouts/captions. Then I could add new actions or callouts. String a bunch together and you have an animated story!
It took me about ten minutes to create that one. Honestly the hardest part was realizing that when I added Hall’s picture in, I added it as a background. This prevented me from cropping or resizing it. Once I made it an object, I was golden.
This brings me to my favorite part about it, which is that you can upload your own backgrounds, your own objects, faces, sound effects and so on. So you can grab backgrounds or clip art from DE streaming’s image library and use them to make animations. You have access to thousands of high rez images and sound effects to use in your animations. Just imagine what your students could come up with!
How about creating an animated example of the food chain? Or the rain cycle, using real images? Or maybe record the students singing “I know an old woman who swallowed a fly” and have the students create visuals to go with the song? Or have them create digital stories, or animate their traditional stories? Or perhaps you could do an animated Spelling Bee to help them learn new vocabulary words?
Just a few ideas off the top of my head, I’m sure you can think of more! Oh yeah, and if you do, share them by leaving a comment!