Animoto, the popular online video creation service, been around for a while now. In fact it has been “in the works” since 2005. I first used it almost four years ago, and I have revisited it many times since that first experience. Why? Because there are few tools that are quicker, easier to use, and capable of producing such a high quality finished product. I love showing it to teachers.
The site is updated regularly with new features, and it even has its own mobile app for iOS and Android. Best of all, Animoto has a free account for Educators. Today, they relaunched their site with a great new look and a new logo too, so I thought now would be as good a time as any to take another look at how useful this tool can be in the classroom.
Making an Animoto video is a very simple process. You start by choosing a style for your video. There are plenty to choose from, and each will add its own personality to your finished product. Next, choose some music. You can upload music of your own that you or your students created in something like Garageband, or you can browse through the library of songs that are built-in to the Animoto editor. Photos and videos can be uploaded directly to the site, or imported from a variety of social media sites. Lastly, you can add text slides, to help tell your story and give context to your media.
At this point, if you wanted, you could render your video and download or share it with others. However, there are a number of tweaks you can make to enhance your video. For instance, the spotlight tool will give more prominence to images you deem worthy of it. You can duplicate slides, rotate them, and change the order of them by dragging and dropping them. You can choose a starting point for your music, and pace your slides to the length of music you chose. After you are done with all the tweaking, you can preview the video to see if it is all that you hoped it would be. If not, simply return to the editing screen and change your style, music, or media until it is perfect. Videos can be downloaded, embedded and shared on social media sites.
So, if you have not tried Animoto recently, or at all, you should definitely take a look to see what is there. Just be sure to sign up for the educator account (a $30 value) because this will remove the 30 second video limit you get with the free accounts. Once signed up, you will be given a class code that you can share with students. When students register for an account, they use this code to get the upgraded education edition of Animoto. Want to create your own student accounts? Animoto has a solution for that too.
Do you use Animoto in your classroom? What do you (or your students) like about it? Feel free to leave a comment below with your experiences.