Thursday, December 5, 2013

Animoby- Cool Whiteboard App for Creating Learning Resources

Recently, I downloaded the Animoby App for my iPad. I've been looking for a whiteboard app that is free, teacher-friendly, and does what it says it will do, and Animoby definitely fits the bill. Here is an overview:

To use Animoby you will need to set up an account. You will be prompted to do this inside the app, or you can do so at the Animoby website.

From there, it is easy to learn how to use the app through Animoby's useful video tutorials and user-friendly Help menu.

Here are a few other introductory resources as well:

EDUTech Review
That's Absolutely Genius Review
Animoby: Animated Learning for Anybody
Tapscape Review
The Ed Tech Round-Up Review

An Example

I created this Animoby video as an example of what you can do with this tool:

You can also visit the link here:

What I Like About Animoby

One feature that stands out for me is the variety of pre-loaded images with which a user can work. I was especially pleased to see so many images and backgrounds for teaching math and music (two areas that require specialized symbols).

Additionally, I like the ability to bring in images from my photos or from DropBox or to even snap a photo for use while inside the app.

I also like having the ability to work in layers as I add elements to a board. This comes in handy as I am creating and I want to bring features to the front or move backward.

I definitely like the ability to create multiple boards and then create presentations with my own voice as I move through the boards like slides. I also like that I can start and stop the recording, rather than having to get my recording in a single take.

I can also share my presentation via email or facebook, so if I have an email list for students or a Facebook group, I could share the presentation with them directly. Each presentation I make has a unique URL, so I can also send them the URL for viewing, share it through social media- including Twitter and Google+- or get the embed code to include the presentation on a website or blog.

More importantly, I can have my students create presentations with Animoby, and we can share them with the world.

I also like that Animoby is now available for both iOS and Android devices, which makes it much more versatile in a BYOD environment.

A Few Limitations

With the free app, I am limited to videos of 2 minutes in length. While this is actually preferable when sharing video lessons with students, it does present some challenges for bigger topics. The solution to this is to purchase the paid version of the app for $7.99 which allows users to create videos of any length.

The paid version also allows users to make presentations that are private for selected viewers, a feature that some will consider valuable.

I would like more post-creation editing features, but that may fly in the face of the intent of the app- which is built to create videos with minimal fuss and bother. This could be fixed if I had the option to download my finished video from the website and bring it into a separate video editor. Again, this is not a feature that all folks might want, but it would appeal to some. Short of shooting a screencast of the video and then bringing that file into a separate editor, I don't see a solution to this. Hopefully, Animoby will add a few features for post-recording editing in future versions.

How to Use Animoby in the Classroom

Here are just a few ideas that I had for using Animoby in the classroom:

  1. Create short demonstration videos for students and parents.
  2. Create short lessons that teach a concept for reinforcement or flipped-classroom teaching.
  3. Have students tell short stories or make short story books that they read in their own voice.
  4. Have students demonstrate learning using.
  5. Have students create persuasive commercials.
  6. Have students teach a concept for younger learners.
  7. Have students create introductions of themselves.
  8. Have students create a music video using images and live performance.
  9. Have students show a process through pictures and voiceover.
  10. Have students explain a timeline of events through pictures and voiceover.
  11. Have students create Animoby presentations to enhance other projects in tools like The Mad Video, ThingLink, and Murally.

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