Common Sense Review
Updated October 2013

Domo Animate

This product is no longer available.
Versatile animation platform stars delightful fuzzy monster
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • Domo Animate lets users create charming animated stories in Domo's world and beyond.
  • FX tools offer lots of animation options, and pop-up advice is helpful.
  • A slideshow tool is still in preview, but tutorial videos explain how to use the site's tools.
  • A wide range of actions and facial expressions helps the animations come to life.
  • You can watch and comment on other users' videos.
Pros
Domo's environment is a perfect blank slate for kids to get wildly creative with storytelling.
Cons
The non-Domo image sets aren't great; a number of female characters are portrayed in a somewhat sexist way.
Bottom Line
For a free site, Domo Animate is remarkably well-rounded, and kids get to have fun while they learn about storytelling.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Kids will love creating stories about the hapless monster, and everything about the site is visually pleasing, from the simple drag-and-drop interface to the well-drawn backgrounds.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Writing and animating a story requires kids to make lots of choices, and they will learn how to use words and images to communicate their ideas. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Tutorials are in video form, and an FAQ answers other questions. Videos are saved in your account and can be public or private. There's also a huge Domo fan community to explore.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Though it may seem fluffy at first, Domo Animate is a great tool for teaching basic story structure as students create their own Domo stories. Setting, conflict, and character all come into play in this fun site. It's free, making it a convenient addition to any class that might need an injection of narrative goofiness. It would work well in world language classes; ELL students could have a field day putting together conversations. 

The site's use of facial expressions and body movements could also be beneficial for some special-needs kids; using Domo as a way to express emotion could be an interesting exercise.

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What's It Like?

Editor's Note: The website Domo Animate has closed and is no longer available on the web. It's now known as GoAnimate For Schools.

Domo Animate is an online animation platform where kids can create their own short video animations. From Go Animate, the site is basically a testing ground for the company's product, but it's a great place for kids to learn animation and storytelling skills. The interface is drag-and-drop: From the sidebar on the left, you drag Domo, or one of his friends, into a panel featuring a background scene of your choice. You can adjust character and item size, facial expression, actions (which let you illustrate a range of emotions), and movement. Movements include flying, running, walking, and sliding, while actions are more specific but somewhat arbitrary, like fishing, rubbing one's tummy, or playing the piano.

There are four other worlds besides Domo's from which you can choose characters and accessories: Cartoon Classics, Holiday & Seasonal, Monsters Mayhem, and Stick Figure. Once you've completed a few panels, you can preview them to make sure the movements are fluid and the story makes sense.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Students can learn to create their own animation starring a series of fantastical characters. They'll learn about movement, story sequencing, and planning ahead as they create a complete animated tale. If they want to get serious, they can even write a full script. Using their imaginations, kids can put together characters, props, and scenery to create an animated sequence. Following the site's directions, they'll make lots of choices as they decide what kind of story they want to tell. They can also get social and share completed animations with friends. 

Disappointingly, the non-Domo options (Holiday, Cartoon Classics, etc.) aren't as good. A flying Christmas fairy looks like Pamela Anderson, and most female characters are in suggestive poses. You can mix elements from each world, which is nice, but the Domo menu has the most warmth and creativity.

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See how teachers are using Domo Animate

Lesson Plans