GoAnimate

A web app that lets you generate fully animated cartoons where you can make animated characters act out whatever you’d like (from Techcrunch.com)

http://www.goanimate.com

How do you log in?

Resources links and/or class examples

This is a short and sweet example of an animation helping to explain Newton’s Laws. Perfect as an introductory video.
http://goanimate.com/movie/0MJBCR3UYOPM/1

In this blog a teacher made an Underdog Anti-Smoking P.S.A.
http://blogs.region4.nycenet.edu/communities/smartboard/archive/category/2438.aspx

This link is an interview with the GoAnimate founder, Alvin Hung. They discuss why he created the site, what it is mainly used for, and about the main competitors in the space.
http://www.gaebler.com/Interview-with-GoAnimate.com-Founder-Alvin-Hung.htm

Strengths

Free
No limit on how many videos one can produce.
There is an educational value to this software if used correctly.
Easy to use: requires basic computer knowledge, patience, and imagination.
Points are awarded for popular videos.
No drawing required
Watch other animations
Community allows students to view, rate and give feedback on other videos.
Users can create their own characters with GoAnimate
Actions allow for matching of content with emotion within the program
Channels group videos together
Offers voices in 22 different languages (Marla R)

Weaknesses

Characters can fight, kiss, flirt, drink beer and other cocktails
Profanity is not allowed but one can get away with it by using symbols for letters (i.e., @ss)
Promotes consumerism by using well-known characters
Users are enticed to buy GoBucks which you use to gain access to the “premium features” of GoAnimate
Users cannot download GoAnimate animations to a desktop or disk
No downloadable version available, purely an online tool.
Must have email address to register- in regards to elementary students
Only a few themes to choose from
You can't create a channel. Your profile is your channel.
No control over the environment that students have access to in the free version (W.Hedeen)
No longer offers a free version to educators. You must pay in order to have an environment that teachers can have control over. (W. Hedeen)

Opportunities

Users can upload and share their videos via GoAnimate or Facebook, digg, StumbleUpon, myspace, reddit, and del.icio.us.
Members can use and share each other’s videos
You can check the Domo Animate platform at http://domo.goanimate.com for a version of the site that does not contain inappropriate content. There, all animations are reviewed and users cannot upload their own assets, thus ensuring a well controlled environment.
Saving animations provides the opportunity to create a cumulating project that builds over time
Student can create an animation that can be shared with friends they invite
Can be used to demonstrate knowledge in a variety of subject areas

Threats

Students may run into inappropriate material, even though each animation is reviewed before posted, and words bleeped out if unacceptable.
Students can make and upload inappropriate videos
Encourages students to buy points so they can use other features.
Seems a little inappropriate (content, advertising, etc.) for younger students
Filtering what is said in the text to word translation

Ideas for the Classroom

Animations could be made literally about anything, from step-by-step directions of a process to storytelling and sequencing. Some ideas include:
- Science: Scientific Method, how to conduct an experiment, safety instructions.
- Math: Steps to solving an equation, patterns and videos involving scoring and numbers.
- Reading: story retelling, sequencing, original works, create a book report instead of writing a paper
- Art: demonstrating mastery of a specific concept or subject, like warm and cool colors.
- Virtual debates between characters regarding a topic. Emotions may also be added to characters to emphasize key points.
These videos can either be made by educators to demonstrate lessons or used by students to show what they learned.