Friday, January 27, 2012

Animoto: Quick Way to Create Video from Images

What is Animoto and What Does It Do?

Animoto is a popular Web 2.0 tool for making movies from collected images. These images can be photos or pictures located online. The images are collected and then uploaded into Animoto. Once uploaded, the series of images can be rearranged and specific ones can be deleted.

Music from the site can be selected to play in the background. In addition, depending upon the final template chosen to create the movie, text can be added. However, text can be added in only a limited way, and with some templates, text can only be added at the beginning or end of the show.

Once your presentation is completed and saved, Animoto will create a "mix," automatically making the movie for you. An email will let you know when the mix is completed. You will click on the link and be able to view your new "movie."

Within your Animoto account, you can store the movies you create and access them from there. You can also embed your Animoto "movie" into your blog, which is a good idea, as you will have easy access to it and others can write comments in your blog about your movie.

Animoto: Big Buddies with Kindergarteners

Here is an example of an Animoto created by a kindergarten teacher featuring activities in her classroom based on a Big Buddies project. The project used photographs that were uploaded to Animoto. Music was then selected. The final "mix" is the video: To learn more about the project, after viewing the video, click on the link to the teacher's blog.

 I found this example on kindergarten teacher Marie Knee's blog The KinderKids' Blog 

Animoto to Capture Scenery or For Geography Lesson

Here's one of the first Animoto displays I created. The photos are from a trip I took to Costa Rico. I used Animoto as a fast way to show others photos from the trip. Given the incredible geography of the country, I also realized this kind of movie could be integrated into a geography study of countries in Central America, or even a science lesson on flora or fauna. Did you know the national flower of Costa Rico is the orchid, which grows in the wild? Did you know that Costa Rico has more species of birds than the US and Canada combined though the country is no larger than the state of West Virginia? Did you know Costa Rico has no military? The government instead uses its funds for protection of the environment and to promote ecotourism. Did you know that the typography of Costa Rico is largely shaped by volcanoes, which are still active today?

As you view this Animoto, you will see I still need to edit it to remove some of the photos. That is easy to do: I just need to go back into my Animoto account, open the video, edit it, and then save it for another "mix."

Animoto to Teach an Elementary School Math Lesson on Geometry

Recently, I learned of an Animoto a 1st-2nd grade teacher created with her students to reinforce what they were learning about geometric shapes. Aviva Dunster, the teacher, offered this information on her class blog:

"This afternoon, we went on a Shape Hunt around the school. Students had to find and photograph different shapes. Here’s a short Animoto slideshow with some of the photographs. What shapes do you see in these photographs? What are some of the properties of these shapes? What other objects do you know that are the same shapes?"

Here's the Animoto the class created. 

Animoto to Teach Social Studies: Commercials of Historic Figures

Here is a link to find a series of Social Studies "Commercials" on Historic Figures that students created for a class project. You'll find 8 examples using the link.

I embedded one to tempt you use the link, to see more. Notice how the teacher conveniently created a table of contents to find the examples: Social Studies "Commercials" on Historic Figures

Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

Animoto to Teach Social Studies Lesson in 1st Grade Classroom

On her Education 584 blog, Roseanne Field has created a blog posting that includes several Animoto Videos her students created to complement the social studies curriculum. Check her blog posting. There you will also see one that two children created for their mother in celebration of her birthday.

Now that you have seen a bunch of Animoto videos, surely you have ideas for using Animoto in the classroom or for other professional needs. Share those ideas with us, posting a comment. What are some ideas you have for using Animoto in the classroom, for professional purposes, or personal enjoyment? What is the next Animoto you plan to create? Discuss your ideas for using Animoto in the comment section.

Before signing up for your own Animoto account, be sure to use the code you have for creating a free account, which is good for approximately six months.