Review by Mary Beth Hertz, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2015

GoAnimate for Schools

Make professional-looking animations with easy-to-use tool

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Teachers say (14 Reviews)
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4-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Fun characters and settings and an easy-to-use interface make this a great tool for a wide range of ages and abilities.

Cons: If you want access to the educator features and student-appropriate content, you'll have to pay yearly.

Bottom Line: This highly engaging animation tool is a fun way for students to experiment with storytelling and digital creation.

GoAnimate for Schools has a Lesson Gallery for teachers who are using animations to create informational videos for their classes. Students in their class can view these videos, which can also be embedded in a website. This has the potential to support the flipped classroom model where students often learn through video outside of the classroom. Teachers can create their own instructional video animations for class on topics varying from classroom expectations to a concept students are learning in class. These animations would then appear in the class animation library for future reference. Students can use GoAnimate to bring their own stories to life, working in groups to animate their own scripts. They could also make lessons of their own, teaching other students about a variety of topics they're covering in class. 

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GoAnimate for Schools is a 2D cut-out animation tool available on the web or as a Chrome app. This school-friendly version of the original GoAnimate site creates a "walled garden" that allows teachers to manage and moderate all the content students may come across. In addition, student work is viewable only by those within their class or school, unless students choose to sign in and show their work to a parent or another person. Students can create animations and view the animations of their teacher as well as their peers, if their teacher has given them access. Students can create unlimited characters and videos of unlimited length.

GoAnimate has lots of options for creating very slick videos. Simple fill-in-the-blank-style animations will work well for younger students, while older students can experiment with a wide variety of themes, characters, props, and animations. Students can type in what they want characters to say and then hear a (somewhat robotic) voice speak the lines, or they can record their own lines directly into the video. The animations they create are then placed in the class "library" and can be seen by the teacher and other students when they log in.

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GoAnimate provides a place for students to watch their stories come to life. There's a very high engagement level with this program; students will love working with the props, animations, and effects to create professional-looking animations. This could encourage reluctant writers to engage in script writing and story development more readily than they otherwise might. It's also an excellent alternative to PowerPoint presentations and the like for students to demonstrate information they've gathered. 

At the same time, though, some students may rush through the writing process to get to the animation, and many teachers will find the cost (starting at $79 per year for just a teacher account or $124 per year for one teacher and 30 students) unmanageable, especially since GoAnimate doesn't offer a lot of actual instruction. Ultimately, it's a fantastic tool if you can afford it and if you're willing to scaffold learning tasks around it in your classroom.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
5

With easy customization options, a simple interface, and seemingly endless combinations of characters and settings, students can become animators in just a few minutes. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

This engaging creation tool offers a fun platform for learning storytelling and script-writing skills.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

The easy-to-use interface guides kids through the process of building a project, with many options for students of varying levels of ability.


Common Sense Reviewer
Mary Beth Hertz Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Maddox C. , Student
Student
5
Good or Grounded, what do you prefer?

IT IS AWESOME!

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