I have nothing against PowerPoint – far from it: but there are limitations. One of the things I try to do as a teacher of digital skills is to provide students with choices. When I give them a project to do, I want them to think about what the most appropriate tool for the job is, and to be able to harness the strengths and weaknesses of different applications to the given task. I don’t want to tell them, create a PowerPoint of … They need to decide whether to use PowerPoint, Flash, a Prezi, or VoiceThread.
Moovly looks like a powerful platform for creating animated presentations, which can be rendered as MP4s, downloaded to your computer or shared to Youtube or Facebook. You can add image files, videos, sound files, or clip art from the Moovly library. You can adjust the background, text and animation effects on a timeline which works fairly intuitively. there is an excellent walk through which shows you what to do.
Teachers can add Moovly to their elearning armament, for creating presentation fragments to pop into a PowerPoint, or to author content for their Moodle page, blog, etc. The picture above shows a screenshot of one I created earlier. It took about ten minutes to create a short 10 second clip. The man on the stage speaks, but i didn’t record a sound track with the presentation. It would have been very easy to do though! That’s serious engagement done effortlessly!
What I like about it is that it is web-based, so requires no download to work. Students can create accounts within minutes, and then use an interface which works in a pretty similar way to video-editing packages like VideoPad and animation packages such as Flash! It uses timelines with layers for each object. These layers are added automatically. You can also drag and drop objects onto the stage, and move them within the time-line with a minimum of fuss. Effects such as fade-in are applied using drop-down menus, so the learning curve is the equivalent of the bunny slope! It’s the kind of application you don’t have to actively teach in class – you can just let students loose on it and then hold their hands when they need it.
I have only just begun to dip into Moovly, but i am sure it will become part of my armoury!