I am really excited to bring Animoto into my arsenal of creative teaching tools. Animoto is a free online video creation application. It allows you to upload your own video clips, photos, and music. It takes those and automatically melds these into an amazing video production. One of the most exciting parts of this program is that students who may not feel that they are very “creative” will be amazed at how beautiful their work is. Hopefully this will encourage them to further explore their innate ability to be creative.
Animoto is super easy to use. To start, you create a login for yourself. The basic (free) animoto application allows you to create 30-second videos. You can upgrade (for $30 a year) which allows you unlimited, full-length video capability. You will be directed to upload your photos, images, and videos. A typical 30-second video will include between 8-15 images. They recommend video clips to be between 3-5 seconds. To this you can add text and some fun special effects (highlighting, rotation, etc.) Next, you are asked to either upload your music or you can select music from their library. They have a good selection of music readily available, but students can always add their own music from CD’s and iPods. You will be asked to provide a name for your video–and click “DONE”. It takes a few minutes, but the program will render your video automatically. As an extra feature, if you don’t want to sit and wait, you will receive an email when it’s ready.
It took me about 10 minutes to create a short video of my family’s vacation, with music and video clips. It turned out amazing!!!
The Animoto site has a number of sample videos available for viewing. I particularly liked the example they gave of a public-service ad. I can see asking middle-school or high-school students to take pictures of a flood-ravaged area, or of war refugees, and to put them to music to create a powerful and dramatic message.
Easy to use. Free. Visually appealing. Potential for sending powerful messages. Creative. Check out Animoto