The “new and improved” Animoto allows students to create short video trailers

October 15, 2013

Quick overview: The completely redesigned Animoto allows students to combine images and video clips to create a short video montage. The resulting video montage looks somewhat like a movie trailer, with slick transitions and professional looking effects:

snowballHow does it work? Animoto allows you to choose a theme and copyright free music. Students upload their own digital images and videos and place them in the order they would like them to appear. The resulting Animoto video clips are stored on-line and can be shared with other students by means of a unique web link. A free account is limited to 30 second video clips. However, if you’d like to apply for a free “Animoto Plus” educator account (with less limitations) please follow this link on the Animoto website. Works on PC, Mac, and mobile Apple and Google devices.

How can Animoto be used in the classroom? Even with a 30 second limit, there’s lots of different ways that Animoto can be used in the classroom to create a:

•    Public service announcement (PSA)
•    Student video introduction (Literacy, FSL)
•    Teacher created video to introduce a new concept
•    Point of view on a product, service, or political party
•    Introduction for a book or movie character
•    Short clip to demonstrate historical or geographical information

Benefits and limitations: Students cannot narrate over the video. If you want to create more complex videos with narration, then you may want to look at iMovie on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. That being said, there’s a pretty low learning curve for Animoto and there’s no need for fancy hardware or expensive software. To cut down on the amount of time that students fiddle with the music and look of the video, Animoto provides pre-made templates. However, not all templates are available with the free account. Last but not least, the 30 second “limitation” on the free accounts can actually be beneficial as it forces students to choose the most relevant images and text to get their point across. As always, make sure students use copyright free images or student photos when using this tool!

Last but not least: When choosing a template for a new Animoto video on the web, the link to continue (using the free account) may not be that prominent. Be sure to look for the “make a 30-second video for free” as seen in this screenshot. Have fun!

Web link: www.animoto.com
iPad/iPhone: Link
Android: Link

Source: Adam Bellow’s “Make Your Classroom Rock” ISTE 2013, San Antonio


ICT Tip: Flixtime allows your students to easily create slick looking video montages

February 14, 2011

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:

all

Quick overview: Flixtime allows students to combine images, video clips, text, and music to create a 60 second video montage with slick transitions and flashy effects. No previous video editing experience needed. Basic account is free.

How does it work? Flixtime is very similar to the Animoto site I wrote about in an earlier blog posting. Like Animoto, Flixtime allows students to upload digital images, video, text clips, and music files. The student then places the media in the order she would like them to appear, as to create a story or message. Flixtime analyzes the student’s uploaded content and then automatically generates a professional looking 60 second video montage. Here’s a simple example I created for the Blog.

How can this be used in the classroom? One of our teachers came up with an innovative use of Flixtime in her classroom. First, she divided her class into two groups. Each group was asked to argue an opposing viewpoint (i.e. – pros vs cons of consumerism) and then present their argument with a Flixtime video clip, similar in format to a TV commercial. Before even touching a computer, students were asked to brainstorm 8 to 12 images they felt would best get their point across. Next, they used Google Images or their own digital cameras to gather their chosen images. Interestingly, some images were dropped or changed as they searched for those that would fit best with their video montage. The 60 second time limit forced students to be concise and effective with their point of view.

What is the difference between Filxtime and Animoto? With a free Flixtime account, students can create a 60 second video montage, instead of only 30 seconds with a free Animoto account. Flixtime also allows you to continue to work on your video montage while your images and videos upload. Currently, Animoto forces you to wait until everything is uploaded before you can start working on your video montage. (Source: The Tech Chicks, ISTE 2010 Denver Conference)

Video Tutorial: For more information on how to create a Flixtime video, please click the large play button below:


ICT Tip: Animoto allows your students to easily create professional looking video clips

March 30, 2010

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:

all

Quick overview: A website that allows students to easily combine images, video clips, and sounds to create a 30 second video montage. The resulting video montage looks somewhat like a movie trailer, with slick transitions and flashy effects. Click here for some examples.

How does it work? The Animoto site allows your student to upload digital image, video, and music files. The student then places the files in the order she would like them to appear.  The Animoto site analyzes the student’s uploaded content and then automatically generates a professional looking 30 second video montage. These short videos are stored on-line and can be shared with other students by means of a unique web link. A free account is required to use the site.

How can this be used in the classroom? In writing articles for this blog, I will avoid writing about ICT suggestions that are “all flash” and offer little pedagogical substance.  When I initially came across the Animoto site, I came to conclusion that it produced really neat little videos, but offered little maneuvering room for student creativity. Last but not least, the free account was limited to creating only 30 second video clips!  However, while working with teachers, valid uses for this site kept coming up. Often teachers are looking for a way for their students to create short (i.e – poignant) video clips to demonstrate a particular concept. One teacher was looking for an easy way for her students to marry digital music and images, but did not want the students to create lengthy videos that ran on forever. In this case, the 30 second limitation was actually an advantage as her students would need to choose the most relevant images to get their point across. Another teacher was looking for a way for his students to assemble the best digital images they created in their computer applications class into a small web video file. The Animoto site once again worked well as the 30 second “limitation” forced his students to choose their best work to highlight. As teachers, what do YOU think of this site? Does it have the potential to be useful in the classroom? Comments on the blog are always appreciated!

Video Tutorial: For more information on how to create an Animoto account and create a simple video, please click the large play button below:


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