Online Tools For Making Movies in the Language Classroom
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” — Albert Einstein - ————————————–
When I was getting ready for a technology training session, I discovered very good tools for making movies and creating comic strips online. Actually I was looking for different alternatives for different age groups. Then I decided to write a blog to share what I’ve found. I tried out each tool and created probably the worst movies and cartoon strips of the cyber world. So if creativity is contagious, can someone pass it on to me please?:-) - ————
Dfilm is a fun and very easy to use online movie maker. You don’t need to sign up to create a movie. Just go to the web site , click the ‘movie maker’ button at the top and then “MovieMaker v2″ link on the right side of the page.
First you are asked to choose a scene, plot and the characters. Then you type in the characters’ lines and select a background music. When you finalize your movie, you can send it to yourself via email. When you click the link in the email, you can view your film. You will also see the embed code underneath the video.
I think Dfilm is good for ages 12 and older. Some of the characters do not look appropriate for young learners.
Zimmer Twins has been online since 2005 and it allows children to create and share their own animated stories. In order to make a movie, you need to register first. They require the parent’s email and send the account information to that email address. Free members can create movies and save them to ‘My movies’ section on Zimmer Twins site. If you become a VIP member by paying $3.95 per month, you can save the videos and also share them via email. I didn’t see an embed code so it seems that they keep all the movies on Zimmer Twins site. It would be nice, if they allowed the users to embed the videos on their blogs or wikis.
Kerpoof is owned and operated by Walt Disney. It’s a bit more complicated then the other online movie makers.
Here is how they summarize the ways you can use Kerpoof :
- Make artwork (even if you aren’t good at drawing!)
- Make an animated movie (really! it’s easy!)
- Earn Koins which you can trade for fun things in the Kerpoof Store
- Make a printed card, t-shirt, or mug
- Tell a story
- Make a drawing
- Vote on the movies, stories, and drawings that other people have made
Like Zimmer Twins, you need to sign up and they ask for the parent’s email address and send a consent mail to that address in order to activate your account. You can also register for a teacher account. This allows you to easily register an entire class of students (or multiple classes) and assign them usernames and passwords. Click here to get information about how to create a teacher account.
Many things at Kerpoof are free. They offer some extra features for paid members. Paid membership is $4.39 per month.
Go!Animate allows you to make animated characters, direct your own cartoons, and watch others’ creations. You can customize your animations with a large number of tools and features. Unlike Toondoo and Kerpoof, they don’t require parental consent and you login with Facebook or sign up for a new account. Subscription is free but the lenghth of the animations is limited to two minutes. You need to pay about $5 per month for unlimited animation lenghth and extra features. Click here to compare the free basic package and paid plus package.
It is amazing to see how creative the students can be when they are the directors of their own learning I hope these tools will help you experience that.