A highly customizable digital animation app; kids will love creating their own high-quality videos.
My students figured out how to use GoAnimate for Students surprisingly quickly. Understanding how the timeline at the bottom of the screen worked was the only area I felt I needed to provide implicit instruction in. The quality of the finished videos are fantastic! The real challenge was keeping them on task and moving forward to complete their production as the many options are fun to experiment with. My students really like the text to speech function and the ability to record heir own voices (I have found this to be lacking from most of the free alternative options). I love that GoAnimate creates an easily publishable product where you don't have to worry so much about your students' identities being revealed. I do miss Domo by GoAnimate which was free and a bit simpler to use. It's a shame they shut it down.
Overall, this tool is great for teaching ELA concepts including POV, dialogue, sequence, characters, setting, editing, plot and much more. It can also be used for students to demonstrate what they have learned in any topic (the ability to import your own images and audio files is also helpful for this.) This is also a great option for a maker space or free time to create.
The template options allow an easier way to a simple video that allows students to just focus on the characters dialogue. The studio offers highly customizable options including the ability to create your own characters in some themes.
How I Use It
I have used GoAnimate for Schools with my 5th grade students in Technology as part of the BizMovie curriculum and for 3-5th graders for various independent and group assignments. I usually give students an overview of their assignment and sometimes show a short animation made with GoAnimate. I have them complete the tutorial individually and then allow them to experiment with creating their own animations. Sometimes I provide them with a worksheet at this point to take note of the characters, scenes and sounds that they may want to use for their assignment.
For most projects, after the students have been exposed to GoAnimate and its features and options, I have them create a story board and script before going back on the computer. There are so many options and features in GoAnimate that students can get easily distracted and off task. By having them pre-plan they tend to use their production time more effectively.
Some ways I have used GoAnimate is for students to present what they have learned in the form of math tutorials and PSA style videos based on research of a social issue such as helping our environment or anti bullying. This tool can also be used to illustrate an historical moment, or as a book report option (make a movie trailer for your book if it were being turned into a film, create a sequel to the book you read, or retell the story from the POV of a different character in the story)
Teachers can also use GoAnimate for Schools to create videos to introduce or summarize a topic.