I am a veteran teacher. This is a polite way to say I have been teaching for quite a while- 30 some odd years. So, you may be surprised to find I embrace all the technology we have available in our profession, and yet you shouldn’t be. What any good teacher wants is a way to convey their enthusiasm and love of learning to their students, and with the use of sites like GoAnimate, our jobs get a little bit easier.
I started using GoAnimate before there was a school site for it-about 3 years ago. I initially used it as a way to have a little fun in presenting some chemistry concepts. The students seemed to enjoy the short lessons they conveyed, and I got to be a little more creative. My students especially got a kick out of when I would put our lab and classroom in the background photos. I myself used GoAnimate for quick lessons, to show in class, and then embed in our class wiki, so students could re-watch them prior to a test. I sometimes made “review” cartoons, where I would have a character tell the students what they should study for a test. Of course my favorite cartoon was my Underdog cartoon on polymers- I wonder if students even know who Underdog is now- but they’ve got to love his catchy background tune.
Since GoAnimate has come out with their school site, I have found it much easier for students to make cartoons – the options allow students who may struggle a little with technology to quickly and easily create a cartoon which conveys their understanding of a subject. One of the comments my students made about GoAnimate was how easy it is to use. At the same time GoAnimate for schools has many, many options for those students who love to create masterpieces. Learning can be fun- and GoAnimate operates on this very concept. Interestingly enough however, my students also comment on how they really have to learn the material when putting it together in a cartoon- and not only the science concepts ( I teach science), but they also have to think about how to express themselves- writing skills! If they choose to talk, pointers from their speech class can be applied. If they use word bubbles- even spelling can be addressed! I actually envy the foreign language teachers at times, because I think GoAnimate would be a great way for students to practice talking in a foreign language, or interpreting if someone made a cartoon in a foreign language, but I digress, as people by age sometimes do.
Why do I like to use GoAnimate? The following incident sums it up. A student in my 9th grade physical science class, who was actually taking the class because he had failed it once before, and was not doing so hot,so far this year was given an assignment where he had to research a type of volcano. One of his options was to make a GoAnimate cartoon. Not only did he do the assignment ( a minor feat in itself) but he enjoyed doing it! He actually enjoyed learning- what more could I ask for?!!
-Mary Williams, High School Science teacher, MT.
To learn more about GoAnimate for Schools visit http://goanimate4schools.com.
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