Animoto: Instant Photo Slideshow

WHAT IS ANIMOTO?

Animoto is an online video creating application that allows users to edit photos, images, video clips and texts into professional-looking videos. Although the lite (free) version of the application is relatively limiting, teachers can apply for a free Pro version of the tool, which removes the 30-second limit on video length. Students can access images from a variety of sources because Animoto syncs with Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, and more. Students can also add their own music by uploading a song file or access music from Animoto’s tune database. Instead of students spending countless hours editing these videos, all students need to do is upload the files. Animoto mixes the images, video and music together on its own to create a professional-looking video. If students are dissatisfied with the combination, they can essentially “shuffle” until they are pleased with the combined product. Then, they can easily share their finished product on a multitude of social networking sites from Facebook and Tumblr all the way to YouTube.

HOW WAS ANIMOTO RATED?
For information about rating scales, click here

Resource Overall Poor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent
Student Response  Negatively ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ Positively
Repeatability  Unlikely ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ Highly Likely
Ease of Use  Difficult ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Easy
Set-Up Time  Short ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ Lengthy
Tech Skills  Basic ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ Expert


WHO REVIEWED ANIMOTO?

Donna Reedy
Sugarland, Texas

As a class accustomed to working with a series of photos, my Photoshop students were required to organize and depict a visually interesting event or experience in their life using the Animoto program and share it with the class as an end of the semester project. Although a variety of music was provided, I asked my students to upload their own music and incorporate a “flowing” narration through the short film of their own images and video clips.

Students were very excited to use a new program which allowed them to use their own personal images to create an actual product that could be shared with their friends. I received positive feedback from most students, and it was very user friendly! The only negative feedback came from the students who wanted more freedom to make personal creative choices with their film. Most also agreed that the theme and template options were nice, but they were very limited, especially for a class of 25 art students who all wanted to be different.

 With more time, I would have asked them to create and advertise their own product. I am going to have my AP Art students use Animoto to create a visual art portfolio of their work to show their progress at the end of the year.

Camille Gammon-Hittelman
Baltimore, Maryland

 I created a slideshow of clay masks from around the world as an intro to my mask-making class with third graders. I found images online, downloaded them to my computer, then compiled them (along with a song that Animoto provided) to create a 30 second informative slideshow that I ran on a loop for my students.

The kids thought it was cool to see the images moving through, rather than having me press the forward button on my SmartBoard, as I usually do. They also enjoyed that there was a sound track involved. This is a neat resource. It would be great as an end-of-the-year slideshow for your students, summarizing all they have done throughout the year. I could imagine seeing field trip photos, pictures of kids working, images of their work, etc.

TIPS FOR CLASSROOM IMPLEMENTATION:

  • Make sure you have an updated version of Flash on your computer for better options.
  • Have your students research the program to better understand the extra options available before starting the program.
  • Students get more excited when they view the examples that are first provided. Require students to have a wide variety of personal photos to work with before starting the program.
  • For younger students, an Animoto film created by a teacher can be a great introduction to a new lesson or a hook!
  • The free version of Animoto will allow you to create a 30 second slideshow that includes music from their library. I wish I had been able to create a longer slideshow with more images, and perhaps have uploaded my own musical selection. The paid version will let you choose how fast or how slow the images flash on the screen, which would be helpful in having time to discuss what we were seeing – rather than having to pause the slideshow (which also pauses the soundtrack).
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