Videos are popular with pupils and teachers alike. Things like flip cameras are great for making short videos in the classroom, but another technique is to use online cartoon animations. There are various options for doing these, but the one I prefer is GoAnimate. GoAnimate allows you to create cartoon videos with the language actually spoken, and can be set for a variety of languages too, allowing pupils to hear the language pronounced authentically, or to record themselves speaking as the characters.
There are quite a few other options to make cartoon videos such as Dvolver, DomoAnimate and Xtranormal which I will do blogs about at some point as well, but I prefer GoAnimate as I think it is easy to use, and gives you a simple option as well as the option to be more creative if you have the time. When you register for free you have enough tools and options to make a good video without having to sign up for the GoPlus option which costs you money. There is also the Goanimate for education you can pay for, but I haven’t bothered with this, preferring to get pupils to create their own logins.
When you have signed up, you basically have two options to create a video – you can either use the quick video maker or the full length video. With the quick video, you basically have a readymade template of a conversation between 2 characters that you select in which you just have to type in what you want them to say. For the full length you have full directorial rights for a 2 minute vid (unless you go GoPlus, when you can do longer). Both are very effective, the first one is ideal for the quick designing of a listening exercise and for pupils to produce an easy video without faffing about with effects and so on!
Here are links to two of my own videos, the first a quick video, the second a full length one (though not yet complete actually!_ if you want to have a look.
Vacaciones ideales (quick video maker)
House description (full length)
Not that in the first video I used the text to voice option (changing the voices to Spanish), whereas I recorded the second myself. You can also upload pre-saved spoken passages though this takes longer.
There are loads of uses for this as I’m sure you can tell. I have used them as listening exercises in class, and tried to get pupils to do them as well, although the class I did it with had trouble saving and uploading them. This is a problem with my school’s systems which the IT guys are trying to sort out, so maybe give it a trial run if you want the pupils to make their own, which is the best use really. It obviously gives pupils to speak Spanish in a ‘safer’ way than aloud in class, practise role plays or work towards speaking assessments. They can collaborate or make their own, do presentations possibly and lots of other speaking activities. Plus, videos can then be used as listening exercises for other classes either by saving the URL or embedding on websites or blogs.
I haven’t included instructions here as to how to make the vids as there are tutorials available on the net, but please leave a comment if you need help. And if you do make videos, let’s share! Happy animating!