This is a problem we all face at times; we think that we’ve created a great presentation or developed a great story yet it just doesn’t resonate with our audience. This happens to our students too. One way to avoid this situation is to have someone else illustrate or animate what they think are the important aspects of your presentation. Think about having your students do this as an extension of a peer review activity. Here are a few tools that your students can use to create animations and illustrations:
Wideo is a service that
allows anyone to create animated videos and Common Craft-style videos
online. You can create an animated video on Wideo by dragging and
dropping elements into place in the Wideo editor then setting the
sequence of animations. Each element can be re-used as many times as you
like and the timing of the animation of each image can individually
adjusted. Wideo’s stock elements include text, cartoons, and drawings.
You can also upload your own images and audio files to use in your
is a nice service for creating explanatory videos through a drag and
drop process. The videos that you create feature digital paper cut-outs
on a colorful background. Think of PowToon as an online tool for
creating videos in the style made popular by Common Craft. PowToon
provides drawings of people and objects that you can arrange on blank
canvas. After adding your narration to the arrangement you can publish
your video. PowToon’s free version limits your videos to 45 seconds.
is an iPad app (free and premium versions available) for creating
short, animated videos. The app allows you to create drawings using just
your finger on your iPad’s screen. In the free version of the app (the
version that I tried) you can create up to 50 scenes in each of your
projects. In each scene you can include as little or as much as you want
to draw on the canvas. There are a few different brush and pencil
effects that you can use in your drawings. The opacity of the colors you
choose can be altered too. When you have completed drawing all of your
scenes hit the play button to watch your animation unfold. If you’re
happy with your animation you can export it to YouTube.
is a fun new tool from ABCya (disclosure, an advertiser here). ABCya
Animate allows students to create animated GIFs containing up to 100
frames. On ABCya Animate students build their animation creations by
drawing, typing, and inserting images. Students can change the
background of each frame, include new pictures in each frame, and change
the text in each frame of their animations.