Tech Tuesday: GoAnimate and Sock Puppets
Sock Puppets is the Apple app – both programs allowed students to record their voices onto pre-made characters to create short videos. Both programs had different parameters, and I really liked both of them. Sock Puppets will actually change the student’s voice (they can set it to go higher or lower) and that was really fun for them. Also, Sock Puppets allows 30 seconds of recording time in the free version. GoAnimate, on the other hand, didn’t have a time limit, but instead limits students to only 10 lines of dialogue. In order to include all the required parts of conversation, my students definitely had to get a little creative! GoAnimate does not alter voices, but it has a wide variety of settings for the videos, and you can change the emotions of the characters.
Can you tell us a little about how you prepared your students to use the apps?
I had created a few samples on each program that I showed my students before they got started. Then during class I also projected the program and showed them how to get started, up to how to record their voices. After that, I pretty much let them work on their own – and most of them didn’t need any additional support. Those that did I was easily able to help.
What obstacles, limitations, or surprises did you encounter?
I had booked the COWs [computers on wheels] for two days, “just in case” and boy did we need BOTH days!! Neither of the programs we used allow you to save your work and edit/add to it later, so most of my kids spent the first day choosing their characters and settings, and testing out the program they were using. Then on the second day they were able to come into class, get their device and start recording their final project right away.
Overall, how do you feel the use of these tools impacted student engagement and learning? Will you use them again
I think doing the conversations digitally was really fun for the students, and therefore they were definitely engaged in the process. The videos also made the process much less stressful for my shy kids, as they tend to get intimidated by spoken tests where they have to approach me one-on-one. Those type of tests still have their place, but this was a great alternative. As a teacher, I personally really enjoyed many of the videos my students produced – they were really funny, so it was also more enjoyable for me to grade than having them come up to my desk one-on-one. Although it took two class periods to complete, it would have taken that long for me to do spoken tests, and it was much easier to grade since I could re-play the videos at will.
What are the benefits to using applications and web 2.0 tools for animation?
- engages students in the learning process as they synthesize content into a digital story
- supports collaboration between students through the writing process: brainstorming, story-boarding, drafting, revising, publishing
- a task with an identified audience of their peers, other students, YouTube, etc. provides relevance along with rigor