Friday, 6 November 2015

Animoto - a great video application for your classroom that offers a free education account

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Submitted by Fiona Beal
Recently I discovered this great video-creation application called Animoto https://animoto.com. I  was delighted to see that one could apply for a free six-month educator subscription and be allowed to add 50 students free via a code to create their own accounts. I took advantage of the offer! The free Animoto Plus account allows one to make videos up to 20 minutes long and using up to 600 photos/video clips.
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What is Animoto

Animoto is a Web 2.0 tool that allows users to produce videos that blend photos, video clips, text and music.  I couldn’t find any information about the allowed length of a video when using the free Animoto Plus account  It is a very creative tool. I tried it out with my Grade 6, 7 and 8 classes this week and they loved it!

How to get started
This is how I went about it after my students had joined Animoto via the code sent to me by Animoto, 

1. First we talked about video creation, copyright issues and the use of a storyboard to plan scenes and words. The storyboard I used can be downloaded here.

2. I set them a task of making a video about themselves as they learned how to use the application.

3. Below are the steps to using the application:

Step 1: Choose a style for the video
This was quite an interesting first step. One clicks on  "Create" in the upper right corner to begin, and then makes the choice of a style. The style affects the look and feel of your video. There are a large number of option - click on any of the styles to see a preview.

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Step 2: Add images and music
One then adds images and video clips, and makes the choice of  some background music from Animoto’s great selection. Users can upload pictures from a computer or import still pictures or videos from other web-based libraries, such as Flickr or Picasa.

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Step 3: Preview, produce & share!
When you're all done, click the "PREVIEW VIDEO" button to see what your video will look like. If you need to make more edits, just click out of the screen and continue editing your video. To produce your video, click "PRODUCE". When your video is ready, you'll get an email alerting you. One’s video can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, or via email.  Animoto videos can also be embedded into blogs or web sites. They can also be exported to YouTube, or downloaded to a computer for use in presentations.

Video tutorials
These first two short videos gives a quick summary on how to use Animoto

a) How to use Animoto


b) Animoto in 60 seconds



c) This is a good example of an Animoto video



Ideas for using Animoto in the classroom
a) The following five ideas come from ReadWriteThink
  • At the start of the school year, students could use Animoto to introduce themselves or their classmates.
  • Students can illustrate their own poetry using digital images they find on Internet or ones they take.
  • Animoto can be used to present research information to the class.
  • Students could illustrate step-by-step instructions for procedure writing.
  • Send students on a scavenger hunt, supplied with digital cameras.  Have students assemble their digital images into an Animoto video to display what they found.
  • curriculum, such as thisvideo on the news events of 2000-2009.  Show the students this video as a sample of what they will produce.
  • Model for students how to create an Animoto video.  Discuss the selection of music to create a mood for the video as well as choosing photos and videos that clearly relate to the topic.  Talk about the use of text to help the viewer follow the ideas expressed in the video.  Provide students sufficient time to create their Animoto videos.
  • Develop a rubric for evaluating students’ Animoto videos.  Consider "choice of music," "organization of photos and videos," and "use of concise text" as categories.  For an example, see the Haiku Rubric used to evaluate a student-written haiku presented in an Animoto video.
b) See Animoto in the Classroom: Activity Ideas for more idea
c) See 6 Videos to Use in Your Classroom for some great video project ideas.

Why not try out this great application. You might find, like I did, that I wished I’d discovered this long ago!

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