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Animoto is an amazing Web 2.0 video production tool for students and teachers that can be used to quickly create great looking educational videos.
Video production was never easier as users begin by uploading images, music, and short video clips.
The site also has royalty-free music available on the site, as well as a library of images and video clips that can be used.
Titles and additional text can be added. Selected images can be highlighted by using the spotlight feature.
The site analyzes the selected pictures, music and video clips and creates a custom video. If you don’t like the video, you can remix using the same images and music. No two videos are ever the same.
can be emailed and embedded on wikis, blogs and other web sites.
Thirty-second videos are free; a fee is charged for longer videos.
This feature gives K-12 teachers unlimited access to all of the site’s resources for free. Teachers can establish group accounts to monitor student’s work. After registering for an educator’s account, teachers receive a classroom code and suggestions for setting up student accounts.
The site has addressed security concerns by making videos created using the educational accounts private. They can only be seen by the users unless they are emailed to parents or embedded on a web site or linked to from another site.
21st Century Skills
Creativity, effective communication skills and critical thinking skills come into play when students use this Web 2.0 tool to design and create videos. Creative juices flow when students suddenly become video producers.
The site’s text blocks have a limited number of characters so students must write concisely and succinctly.
The video production process causes students to critically look at their choices of images, text and music to make decisions as to the best choices and arrangements. Critically evaluating each video, editing and revising as needed, and remixing videos develop important 21st century learning skills.
The visual, audio, and textual elements in producing educational videos help students create visual messages and strengthen visual literacy skills.
In the Classroom
Teacher Use - Teachers can use Animoto to create a video as an introduction to an upcoming curriculum lesson/unit.
Below is an example of a teacher-created video about citing information sources.
Student Use - This Web 2.0 tool enables students to quickly create presentations without having to spend a lot of time learning how to edit and manipulate presentation software.
Time can be spent on developing a video’s content instead of the technical aspect of the application.
Students can practice becoming the next Steven Spielberg!
While Animoto can be lots of fun for students, teachers should strive to design lessons for creating videos that use higher order thinking skills.
Check out This Great Teaching Idea!
A middle school teacher dramatically increased vocabulary test scores to a 98% pass rate using student-created videos.
The teacher uses student-created Animoto videos as a vocabulary study tool. After each student is assigned a vocabulary word, they locate pictures online that represents their word. After uploading pictures to the site, they add text for a title, definition and pronunciation of the word.
Videos are short, no more than 30 seconds long. Links to the videos are posted on the class’ wiki page so students can view them to study for their vocabulary tests. The teacher reports that vocabulary test scores have dramatically risen to a 98% pass rate.
Below is an example of a video illustrating a vocabulary word - "grimace."
After gathering necessary information for their videos’ content, students need to analyze and organize the information and media elements. Here is a storyboard students can use to plan and organize their videos.
Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
Writing. This Web 2.0 tool supports the CCSS writing standards when students use it to create a video to present information visually and with succinctly written text.
Text Types and Purposes - 2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Production and Distribution of Writing - 6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Language. Writing text slides for their videos can help students learn and utilize new vocabulary. See the great teaching idea above in "Student Use."
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level.
Video Tutorial for Educators-
Remind students not to identify themselves with their full first and last names or with any other personal information when posting their work online.
Videos created by students using the educational accounts are private. Outsiders can not contact students using these accounts. Teachers should register on the educators’ page.
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