When I reflect on my absolute favorite Web 2.0 Tool, one site jumps to mind: Animoto. I believe that in order to be great, one must be multi-faceted. Animoto, a video slide share program, meets this standard. With a bit of teacher and student creativity, the possibilities become opportunities that open the door for project-based learning and higher level thinking.
Animoto is a free site that anyone can register to access; however, there are premium accounts that do charge. With the premium, or pro, accounts, one is able to do more with the site. Luckily for teachers, Animoto offers an education account that offers teachers access to some of the pro features, without charge.
Students can use photographs or short video segments they have shot themselves or that they have downloaded. First, the designer selects the ‘style’ of video they wish to create. Then, they begin adding their photos. Once the images are saved, simply upload the pictures to the Animoto site. Next, you are prompted to add text. Finally, choose music from a library or download files you already have – and ‘create!’ Once the video has rendered, you can link to your new creation or embed the film into your site and share with others.
Animoto can be used to deepen vocabulary knowledge as students use images to describe a term and add text to explore and define the meaning. Videos can be used to make book trailers for novels or to sequence the events of a story’s plot line. One could showcase the life of a famous explorer or retell through imagery the major events leading up to a key point in history. Students could compare and contrast cell types or weather patterns by visually displaying their content. Partners could team up to develop an archive of images to depict geometrical patterns used in real-world context. The possibilities are endless and cross-curricular integration becomes simple as Animoto lends such a simple project-based platform to enhance student creativity.
Here are a few Animoto videos (in case you’re interested):
- Book Trailer: http://animoto.com/play/aURxFq6zmz38DqrKumkeUA
- Digital Writing Assignment: http://animoto.com/play/fTLdhDNaamIqdVvhJrl5NA
- Application: http://animoto.com/play/iDsjL201xCUgxlO5fIfiNg
*Erin Klein is a mother of two, wife, and a teacher in Michigan. She enjoys exploring creative ways to integrate technology into her curriculum and sharing those ideas with others. She’s a member of the National Writing Project, technology co-chair of the Michigan Reading Association, A Plus Workshop Presenter, SMART Exemplar Educator, and Teaching Blog Addict Author. She has her Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and enjoys traveling the country to give presentations and meeting amazing educators along the way.
Erin is the author Kleinspiration, a free teacher resource sharing blog. Visit her website at www.Kleinspiration.com.