Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Celebrating the Year

As the school year ending is drawing closer and closer, it's time once again to think of how to celebrate your students' accomplishments. Digital tools are just one of many options. Animoto is an excellent tool for making quick video celebrations. If you're a teacher, be sure to use the Free Animoto Educator account when signing up, so you can make longer videos than the 30- second ones that come with a regular free account. Use this link if you need to create your educator account.

Here are some examples of Animotos.  I created the first three for courses I teach. The last four feature young children and celebrate camp and field trip experiences. You can view these videos full-screen, using that option (see full-screen icon, lower right corner of each video).

As one of my courses comes to a close, I like to create a recap to show at our last class. I have used Animoto in combination with a slide program to create these videos, which showcase the topics students selected for their research study proposals.

Ending a Course

This one is from an 8-week course taught in fall 2013. Interestingly, one of the students in the course also chose Animoto as a way to present her own final project.

Educational Research, Multiple Intelligences Class, Our Topics

 Educational Research

I just finished teaching the same course in an 8-week format and created this one. Although Animoto allows for creating text right within the program, I prefer to use a slide program and (1) insert in each slide an image with accompanying text, (2) screen capture the slides as images, and (3) upload a full set of images into Animoto, which then creates the video mix.

Educational Research, Multiple Intelligences, Our Topics

International Dot Day: Cross-Class Trading Cards

This additional one was created based on a joint cross-class project done between elementary school students in Maryland and graduate students at University of Saint Joseph. The video was created to celebrate the conclusion to a project we did with trading cards in celebration of International Dot Day. We actually exchanged our cards through regular US mail, and I did a Skype with the Maryland students to connect in person. You can read more about the Skype and the trading card project at this blog post. Skype for Dot Day

International Dot Day Trading Card Project

Summer Camp

Each summer my niece is a counselor at summer camp for small children who sign up to attend on a weekly basis. At the end of each week, on Fridays, a performance is held at which the children sing, dance, or do another kind of performance. A video recapping some of the events told through photos is also shown, and Animoto works perfectly for this. Here are some examples.

Summer Camp, 2012

Summer Fun at Hopmeadow

Summer Camp, 2013

Field Trips

I also like these two videos that teachers in the Integrating Technology and Literacy course created to celebrate school field trips, having parental consent to show the children. Although these were not necessarily made at the end of the year, they illustrate ways to use Animoto to celebrate special school events.

Auer Farm

My Animoto Video

Flander's Nature Center

My Animoto Video

You can also upload Animoto videos to other sites such as Facebook and YouTube, which is another way to share with parents and others.

As the month of May draws closer  an end, what are some ideas you have for using Animoto or similar programs to reflect on the year? What videos could you make to celebrate students' accomplishments or events that transpired during the year?


  1. I love the idea of using the Animoto program to create a video to recap a field trip. This week my class is going on a field trip to Magic Wings to culminate the life cycle unit that students worked on for the majority of the year in science. I think that I will actually use the ideas that I got from this post to create my own montage of our field trip this week. I am planning on using this as an informational piece at the beginning of the school year to show families during open house as this is one of the big units students study in second grade. I love how the technology can take this unit to the next level!

  2. Every year I hold an end of the year celebration, similar to a graduation for my students- I always have picture boards around the cafeteria so parents can see our year in photographs. I think an animoto could be a really fun way to achieve the same idea!

  3. I was so surprised that Animoto came up in our graduate class because I had just learned about it and recently began experimenting with it. I think Animoto is a great tool to document student learning throughout the year as well as facilitate learning during a unit of study. I am currently working on creating an Animoto video of my student's thoughts of the school year. The examples on your blog have helped me get some ideas on how to present this information.

  4. I had never heard of Animoto before this class. It is a neat way to document different things going on in the classroom. I think classroom teachers could use the tool in a variety of ways, but I also think the school as a whole could make an Animoto to introduce teachers (at the beginning of the year) or show highlights from open house and then post it to the school website. There could be a new Animoto every month highlighting happenings in the school. I'm sure parents would love to watch them and look for their children. Tonight there is a math and literacy night at my school. It would be a great opportunity to take some picture or videos and make an Animoto to post about the night.

  5. For the end of the year assembly we have at our school the Student Council members wanted to create a video highlighting all of their projects they have completed throughout the year. Before learning about animoto I was going to have them use the pictures I have taken of them throughout the year to create a simple slideshow on the ipad. However, it seems like animoto would be a better resource for the students to use since they can add text and music to the pictures. I plan on trying this with my students next week as a way for them to create a quick and enjoyable snapshot of all the great contributions they have made to the school throughout the year. Thanks for the idea!