Have you tried Doink? If not then why? Last Friday I was planning for lessons the following week and wanted to try and let my students create their own animations. The reason for this is that my Year 11 students were learning about enzyme theory and one of the things that students always seem difficult to grasp is to visualise concepts like the ‘lock and key’ and how the active site changes shape when the enzyme denatures. For this reason I thought that if students could create their own animations then this would help them visualise and learn these concepts. So anyway I have never done any animations previously and didn’t know where to start so I used the power of my PLN – I tweeted ‘anyone know any good free animation tools where students can create their own animations?’
Within an hour I had been given about ten different potential tools which I had a quick look at. Straight away Doink seemed to catch my eye.
So I thought let’s have a go of Doink so I signed up and began to create my own animation – being a typical boy and a very keen kinaesthetic learner I didn’t bother to read the instructions or watch the video ha ha! So I began creating my animation on enzymes to work out what how long it would take my students to replicate this and whether the actual product would meet the objectives that I wanted it to. After less than 5 minutes I had created a very short and a little bit rubbish enzyme animation. You can watch it here and let me know what you think after 5 mins work:
So I decided to try this out in lessons with my Yr11 Science class in a lesson titled Why did Mr Roberts smell at University? Now I can already here you shouting the answer to this question and many of them are quite insulting and some a little rude so please don’t jump to conclusions, you are worse than my students! Now the actual reason is completely scientific and relevant to what the students were working on. The answer is actually connected to doing my laundry. Anyone who goes to University will possibly be able to relate to this, especially if you work in or around universities by the next few weeks the freshers begin to start smelling. When you are at University you probably have never really used a washing machine, you wear all your clothes, perhaps even wear them more than once depending on how bad they add up on the sniff test, however there comes the day where you really have to do some washing and it will be a huge event and will take all day. So you go to the laundrette and chuck all of your clothes in – no need to separate colours etc then chuck in lots of washing powder, biological is best and then what about temperature? Well surely the hotter the better so you put it on a boil wash. What you don’t necessarily realise is that as this is a biological washing powder it needs to be on a 40 degree wash so the enzymes can work! I have to say I didn’t really smell I just used the title of the lesson as a hook to engage students and the story to add a bit of humour. (in fact if you went to uni do you remember idiots who used to put all their clothes in dryers for hours and then got out their jeans only to see that they now fitted a 2 year old!)
So the students created their animations on Doink which they found fairly easy and managed to do this in a very short time. It is really easy to use and when you have finished the animation you can then publish it to youtube. Or embed on your social networking site or blog or email people your animation movie. I think this is a brilliant tool, the students loved using it and a few of them have said they will be using it at home to create their own animations to help with revision in many different subjects. You really need to check out the animations that the students created by clicking on the links below – please encourage the students by leaving a short comment if you watch any of them and leave a comment here on the blog if you have any ideas on how to use doink? Or you already use doink and would like to share some of the animations you or your students have created.