The above is an animation by Adam, a year 8 pupil (12 years old) who has started learning German this term.
I have always enjoyed setting fun homework, as both my students and I find it’s a welcome change from the old exercise book. Every so often I set my younger students a comic writing ICT task. Whereas on previous occasions I’ve generally opted for Toondoo, this time I’ve gone for GoAnimate.
I set out to use GoAnimate to assess my student’s ability to produce a dialogue in German that would showcase their knowledge of the different vocabulary and grammatical constructions they have acquired this past half term. I simply tweaked this week’s schemes of work to include GoAnimate as an assessment tool, instead of a dialogue on a sheet of paper or exercise book.
During the course of three lessons this past week I introduced the tool to the students by showing them GoAnimate’s demo video on the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB). They were immediately engaged and couldn’t wait to go home and start writing in German! As you can imagine, a very welcome change!
I also laid out clear expectations of the quality and quantity of the work, as well as what was acceptable and what wasn’t in terms of content. We then spent the rest of the lesson drafting possible dialogues and enacting them in class.
Once I had received all the homework, i.e an email link to each student’s animation on GoAnimate, I carefully checked each student’s dialogue and made notes of common errors that had cropped up and followed them up in my next lesson with them.
I used the IWB again to show some of the animations containing the most common mistakes, such as ich hieße, instead of ich heiße, or simply missing out the capitals for nouns and then asked the students to comment on and assess each other’s work.
Although I didn’t take advantage of it on this occasion, GoAnimate also allows you to upload sound files, giving you the possibility to add voice recordings to the animation. On this occasion, as it was a homework task and I could not expect every pupil to have a microphone at home, I decided not to use this feature. It could, however, be successfully used if choose to do this type of work within lesson time in suitably equipped ICT rooms, for example.
Although it’s not something I wouldn’t do every week, mainly because both my students and I would bore quickly when the novelty’s worn off, it is certainly something I’d recommend doing every so often, at the end of a sequence of lessons, for example.
What do you think? Can you see yourself using GoAnimate in this way? Do you have any other suggestions?
I now need to go and find out what ein Bettlerhaste is…