Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25, 2010

Good Afternoon Instructors!

For this week's blog post I'd like to discuss a fun and interactive tool that you may want to consider implementing into your courses in some fashion. Particularly with the second half of the quarter ahead of us, you may be finding that you'd like to add in some variety or new tools to your discussion board topics to continue to motivate and engage your students. A fun and creative resource that can really help to spur critical thinking and engagement in this area is something called an Animoto.

You are probably asking, what is an Animoto. Well, Animoto is a Web 2.0 tool that allows us to make amazing videos to the beat of music. It does all the work of timing and "popping" the pictures to the tune for us and is an excellent way to illustrate through pictures, text, and sound, what a term or concept means to us. Students have a lot of fun and engage in critical thinking when creating Animotos.

If there is a particularly abstract concept you are trying to get students to think about in a new way, this is a great option. For example, how might concepts of a marketing strategy be that much more clear through pictures? Or how might a visual discussion of economic changes help students think about the course concepts in a new way? Or if you are teaching a Natural Science course, how might visuals help to solidify student understanding?

Our online intercultural communications course has implemented student developed Animotos very successfully for a few quarters. If you
click here you will see a sample Animoto on the concept of culture. Students are given this sample as well as some training resources and then asked to create their own Animoto depicting what they view as a visual definition of cultural values. In addition to the Animoto, students are required to submit a reflection on how their definition and understanding of cultural values changed or were enhanced as a result of creating this Animoto.

To explore this resource further or to start your own Animoto presentation, the following will take you to the site directly as well as guide you through the process: Animoto and Jing Training on Animoto.

I encourage you to give this tool a try and let me know what you think. Have fun with Animoto and have a great rest of the week! (And as always, please let me know if you have any questions.)


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