Thursday, October 11, 2012

Learning is more enjoyable with Dvolver Movie Maker

Learning can be more enjoyable and fun with Dvolver Movie Maker. It is a tool which enables users to create their own short animated movies. Users can personalized the movie as they can choose not only the scenarios, but also the background of the scene and the characters involved. After users have created the movie, they may share it with their friends through email and also by embedding the movie to their websites. So far, more than 8 million movies have been produced using this tool. It is surely a hit!

How to use it?

a) Create

This tool is user-friendly. Users may enjoy their own short film in just 8 steps.

1. On the homepage of the website, click 'Make a Movie'.

2. Afterwards, choose your preferred background of the scene by clicking on the respective box. You can select the place setting and also the sky to suit the mood of the scene. Then, click 'Next'.

3. Choose the desired scenarios for the scene. To proceed, click 'Next'.

4. Choose the characters involved in the scene. Before clicking 'Next', you can refer to highlighted box to ensure that you have clicked on the right characters which you have chosen.

5. Insert dialogue into the provided box. Note that number of characters for each box is limited to 100 characters only. After you have finished, click 'Next'.

6. Select a background music for the scene to enhance the mood. However, if you prefer not to put any music background, click 'No music.'

7. If you are satisfied with the movie, click 'Finish movie.' If you want to add more scenes, click 'Add new scene.' However, if you wish to edit the movie (setting, dialogue, or even characters), just click 'Back.'

8. Finally, insert the movie title and the director's name. Also, don't forget to select the title design by clicking the preferred box. 

After these 8 steps, you are done! Now, you may enjoy your own animated movie.

Here is an example of an animated movie that I've made myself:

b) Share

1. Through email: Users may email their movie to friends by clicking on 'Preview and send movie.' After that, insert receivers' name, their emails and also the sender's name. Then, click on 'Send'.

2. Embed to websites: Users may embed their own movie by copying the html code in the highlighted box and paste them where necessary.

How could it be used in language teaching?

1. Teaching vocabulary
Teacher introduces a set of vocabulary to students. Ask students to create a scene in which they will need to use the words. 

2. Teaching grammar/sentence structure
Teacher introduces a grammar point or sentence structure. Ask students to apply the grammar point/sentence structure in the dialogue. For example, in the movie which I've made, one notable structure is present continuous tense: e.g. I'm coming..., I'm having...

3. Practice functional exponents
Teacher introduces few functions to students and give example of their respective exponents. Ask students to create a scene that involves one or more functions which they learn and practice using the functional exponents.

  1. This tool is user-friendly. Teaching students to use it would not be time-consuming.
  2. This tool can help to motivate students as it allows creativity and involves imagination. Most learners would find this tool to be exciting and this attracts them to engage in learning.
  3. Learners can practice the language items learnt in context. This helps to enhance their understanding and reinforce their language skills.
  4. Using this tool as teaching-aid materials allows teacher to accommodate learners' multiple intelligence (e.g. visual, linguistic).
  5.  This tool allows introvert learners to express themselves. and hence, help teacher to monitor their understanding and progress in learning.

  1. To use this tool would require availability of internet connection, whilst not every student might have access to internet at home (if teacher sets the task as homework).
  2. The choice of characters are limited. The tool would be more exciting if learners can create their own characters.
  3. The characters have no facial expression and hence, it doesn't portray real communication in real world.
  4. The limited number of characters in each dialogue box could be a constraint for learners to express themselves freely.

Despite the disadvantages, this tool is highly recommended for teachers as a teaching-aid material to bring a whole new experience of fun and interactive learning to learners in language classroom.

For further understanding on how to use Dvolver movie maker, you may check out this youtube tutorial.


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