Animoto is a video creation and editing program that allows users to integrate images, video clips, music, and text into presentations that come to life. The link I've included connects directly to the Educator's version of Animoto. Teachers can apply for a free Animoto Pro account (which ordinarily costs $250/year) to create an unlimited amount of 20-minute videos.
The possibilities, as with any open art form, are truly endless. Educators and their students have the opportunity to delve into and explore the lengths of their creativity (which I guarantee are far more extensive than many individuals believe they possess). As a tool, Animoto is user-friendly and able to be highly personalized - there are multitudes of high-quality themes and music options from which to choose alongside the unique images and text incorporated.
As an educator, why not use Animoto to give a visual and narrative sneak preview of the next social studies, science, or any other subject unit? Why not document students out helping in the community, on a field trip, on field day, or on any other memorable occasion and turn those images and video clips into a HD presentation that will get students thinking that there can be more to documenting and reflecting on an experience than just writing an essay? Not that I'm undervaluing the essay; I'm an English major, after all. But I believe students should be given as many opportunities as possible to deliver narrative and content in multiple formats, and video is an engaging and exciting outlet for learners of all ages.
Students can use Animoto in a variety of ways - to create individual or group presentations of their learning; to voice opinions and messages that inspire social action; to teach other learners about topics and ideas in which they have become an expert; to share a personal journey or inspiring moment. Animoto is a tool that allows students to creatively express themselves through digital media, and to see the live and encapsulated results of their learning process; it's a tool that has the potential to validate ideas and the hard work of the individual, like seeing your artwork hung in a local museum or your story published in a local newspaper - and video has the potential to go beyond the local level!
Animoto has some sample videos on its education page as to how educators use this technology, none of which were uploading for me this morning. Doubtless there are upteenth Animoto videos out there that can be searched, as the technology allows you to share via blogs, websites, and YouTube I created a quick sample video, just to check out its capabilities; but I am eager to continue brainstorming ways that this awesome tool can be used in and out of the classroom.
What are your ideas? How might you use from an educator's or a student's perspective? Share, share!