Saturday, November 30, 2013

Animoby: Animated Learning for Anybody

For those of you looking for a whiteboard video creation tool to use on any tablet,  check out Animoby.

Android App

Apple App

Similar to other whiteboard screencast tools, Animoby lets users create multipaged screencasted videos.

Take a look at this demonstration from Animoby:

  • Use on Apple or Android devices
  • Variety of tools and colors
  • Connects to Dropbox
  • Import PDF's from email or Dropbox
  • Able to insert images
  • Able to zoom in and out
  • Save as compact files
  • Share and email projects
  • Various background templates
  • Share to Facebook, Twitter, Google+

New users will appreciate the extensive video tutorial menu on Animoby's website. The videos are easy to understand and demonstrate use of the app. While the interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, having the tutorials available is a positive. Also, visit Animoby's homepage to view what other users have created.

Students could use Animoby to demonstrate understanding of concepts taught in class. Imagine screencasts of students solving equations-- talk about showing your work! Students could also demonstrate active reading skills by recording themselves talking through reading a text on a PDF or picture taken of an excerpt from a book. Music and Math teachers will appreciate the preloaded backgrounds available: from blank sheet music to various styles of graph paper, subject area teachers will easily be able to create screencasts to use in their classes.   I'm partial to the white lined paper background, as you will see in this example I created:

I used the Animoby app on my iPad to create this screencast of the literary device, Personification. I did a quick Google search for images, saved them in my camera roll, and added them to the presentation, cropping the images as needed. Animoby's save feature allows me to start a project, save it unfinished, and return to as needed before recording and publishing it to the web.

Recording was simple, and the quality is excellent. I really like that I was able to zoom in and out of each image while recording. You'll hear my dog Charlie barking at the neighborhood cat in the background, but I can still be easily heard over the noise. I could have deleted it and re-recorded the audio, but I chose not to for the sake of demonstration. After the final product is published, I emailed it to rmyself to generate a URL from which I can get the embed code or share to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. The embed code could also be used for adding the Animoby projects to blogs or Edmodo posts. 

What I would like to see is Animboy be able to connect to Google Drive.  I use Google Drive more so than Dropbox, and having this option would be a major plus. It would also be nice to have the option to include background music. While Animoby works great on tablets, I wonder if a paired down version could be available for smartphones. Teaching in a BYOD district with most of the students using smartphones, having a screencasting tool for a smartphone would be an asset.

Animoby is versatile and easy, and I'll be sure to recommend it to colleagues and students.

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