As part of the TiLT project, we’ve been looking at different tools for presenting in the teaching room which work well with (or depend on) the use of tablets. VideoScribe is a desktop application (and iPad app) that allows you to create what are variously referred to as ‘whiteboard animations’ or ‘fast drawing’. The visual approach is one that you’ll be familiar with from TV commercials but, to my mind, it has not yet become over-used or hackneyed. It involves a disembodied arm and hand doodling very quickly on a flipchart or whiteboard, with the doodling captured and animated using stop-motion animation (similar to Wallace and Gromit).
VideoScribe makes this kind of animation available to everyone, without the need for design / illustration skills. The desktop application and iPad app both feature a large, expandable library of pofessionally produced whiteboard animation clipart, which can be combined with your own text and images. The possibilities are endless. Within HE, there are all sorts of ways in which we might used it to explain difficult concepts through visual metaphors, whether it is as part of a MOOC or embedded in a Powerpoint / Prezi presentation used in a lecture.
Although there is a free trial, there is no longer-term free subscription; it costs around £10 per month for an annual subscription. However, this starts to look like very good value when set against the cost of getting an agency to produce what you can now generate yourself. We’ll certainly be testing it out further. (Thanks to @davidhopkins for flagging this up!)