Featured in the latest PC EdTech Site!

A comprehensive and very accurate description of one of the latest projects that I implemented in my World Language courses. Beautifully described by my friend and EdTech Specialist at Pine Crest School, Lee Howell. Thanks, Lee!

See it here.

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Let’s GoAnimate!

GoAnimate is an excellent tool for almost anything! This site has a lot of potential. I am so glad that my school got a membership! The options are just unlimited…

Click on the image. It will direct you to GoAnimate's site.

This year I decided to use GoAnimate in both my 6th grade Spanish and French classes. We are currently reading a very fun and engaging TPRS book: Noches misteriosas en la Alhambra/Nuits mystérieuses à Lyon written by Kristy Placido and published by TPRS Publishing – totally recommended, find it here.

So… this book leads to a lot of projects! My students are thoroughly enjoying it. Last year I used the free version of GoAnimate. It is great, since students can create mini project with cute characters for free. But, the paid version is obviously better. With the paid version there are more character and movement options and, the best part, students can create longer movies.

We are currently in the chapter 3 of the novel. I wanted my students to review the vocabulary and events of the story while at the same time showcase some creativity. Therefore, the requirements for this project were to summarize one chapter’s event and creating an alternate chapter. I gave students a document with the following instructions:

You will be creating a long video in GoAnimate in which you will summarize the events that take place in the chapters read so far in our class novel. You can choose to just represent one chapter or more than one BUT you must also include a continuation made up by you. This continuation is the most creative part since only in this section you will not be following the events that actually happen in the novel, you will be making up your own!

You will have one day in class to write your script, another day to be trained on the tool, and three days to work on the project. Once done, do not forget to publish it!

This assignment is due on Monday, March 10th.

Please see the rubric for more information.

So, as you can see, I made sure to scaffold the process:

– Script creation.

– Tool training.

– Project development.

I cannot stress enough the importance of this scaffolding practice. Students tend to get lost in the technology. And GoAnimate leads even more to this ¨lost in the technology¨ situation. The tool is very appealing to students: the colors, movements, and little accessories that they can add are just countless. It is almost like a game for them. The teacher must make sure that students work on the nitty gritty first, this is, the content; later on they can get lost and play with the little cartoons, colors, and accessories.

I am sharing my rubric with you. Please feel free to modify it: GOANIMATE_PROJECT_RUBRIC.

Pros of this tool:

Versatility. This site can be used for almost anything! All you need is imagination. Examples: students projects such as creative writing in any course, even math, government or history class; flipped classroom, created by teachers or students; listening exercises or tests, perfect for language courses. Can you think of any other option? Please post it in the comments field under this post entry.

Audio. Students can record their voices. This is a feature that I specially value in my Foreign Language course since it can be used kind of like a language lab.

Feedback. Students have the option to comment on each other’s projects. You could make this a class activity. I assigned it for homework. They had to watch at least one project and then comment on it in Spanish/French.

User friendly. Very easy to used. If you are not too techy, no worries. Check out this tutorial.

Cons of this tool: Very few, but there are some cons:

Game appeal. Students may get overexcited and may start playing with the cartoons instead of focusing on the content. This con can easily be fixed. All this takes is extra monitoring from the teacher, and scaffolding, scaffolding, scaffolding! Provide due dates and grades per due date so that students are forced to follow your deadlines.

Audio issues. This always happens, not just with GoAnimate but with any tool that has an audio feature. The problem is not as much the website but the student’s computer: their microphone may not work, they may not have Flash installed, they may be using the wrong browser, etc. The good news is GoAnimate has an excellent customer service line so, if problems arise, you can always contact them and they will work on their end in order to fix the problem.

Lastly, I would like to share some of my students projects with you! They are outstanding and very fun, they are so creative and engaged. GoAnimate is a treat, for students and educators alike.

GoAnimate in Spanish here!

GoAnimate in French here!

Global Citizenship in the 21st Century Classroom

My dear colleague Maria Dona-Morice and I will be presenting a session at ACTFL titled: ¨Global Citizenship in the 21st Century Classroom¨. This session was selected by FFLA attendees as Best of FFLA (Florida Foreign Language Association). In this presentation we will be giving examples of projects implemented in our courses (French and Spanish). This should be useful to any Foreign Language Teacher.

It is our responsibility to promote diversity and culture awareness in our class! Enjoy the Power Point below and drop me a line if you want more information. Bon voyage!

We are the world

Global Citizenship in the 21st Century Class (1)

Animating the classroom!

What about some fun? What about some animation in your classroom?Image

Let’s GoAnimate our courses! It is interactive, dynamic, and educational.

I decided to use this App with my 6th grade French class. We had been learning the -er ending verbs, and the like/dislike structures. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to implement the content into an animation project.

Firstly, I created a sample video for my students so that they could visulize what I wanted for them to do:

Video Les Animaux font les devoirs

Secondly, I provided the instructions and rubric:

GO_ANIMATE_SHORT_VIDEO_PROJECT

GOANIMATE_PROJECT_RUBRIC

Then, I gave my kids 3 days to complete the assignment. As the instructions indicate, the first day I did not let them use the computer. I have found that when using a technology tool my students get so excited that they want to start working on it straight away, not focusing enough on the basis of the assignment. Because of this reason, I have found that scaffolding the activity in little pieces makes it clearer, and provides a much better final product.

goanimateSo, after the first day of writing and script designing, students started to customize their GoAnimates. I made very clear the fact that I wouldn’t be checking their scripts before-hand.

After posting their videos in our Schoology page, students had to complete the last assignment for this project. They were required to watch at least 3 of their peer’s videos, and comment in each of them. The comments had to be questions regarding the storyline. They had to post the questions in French (metacognition, brain-research). The students that received questions about their videos also had to respond in French. This last stage was the aftermath of the entire project. It was interesting to see students virtually interacting in the target language. This was a great way to share our projects, and to find some educational purpose to the project share. Not just watch and relax, but watch, relax, and ask questions about what you saw = In-depth reflection = High order thinking.

The final result will showcase your students writing and pronunciation skills. As you know, our students’ creativity and imagination are limitless. I assure you that the videos will amuse you, entertain you, and show you one more time the countless possibilities that technology provides us with. I think that this was a great way to assess speaking skills, so I highly recommend this App for the World Language courses. But, obviously, it could be integrated into any course.

GoAnimate 2

** This is not a free App, BUT for some reason Schoology was providing a 30 day trial on the App. I used the trial period, and it worked wonderfuly. They might still be providing the free trial, you can check it out here:  GoAnimate for Schools or in the Schoology App Center.

Do not hesitate it, it’s worth it. GoAnimate your class.