Saturday, June 11, 2011

Why Make Movies in the Classroom?

 I have blogged about Animoto before, in a post Pronto Videos, but thought I would check in again to attract new users. Unlike PowerPoint, PhotoStory 3, MovieMaker, or iMovie, a quick movie can be made with Animoto within a few seconds. Simply gather some photos or use a bunch of any images you have saved, upload them to Animoto, select music from the site or add music you have on hand, and Animoto does the rest. You don’t have much control over editing the final project, but the product is achieved quickly and nearly effortlessly. What are some ways the site could be used in the classroom to stimulate student creativity, critical thinking, engagement, collaboration, and so forth? Have you used it with students? Would you use it with students?

Animoto in its basic version is free, but there is also available an Animoto free package for educators with upgrades that allow teachers and their students to use the site's more advanced features. They're samples of videos teachers and students created. Scroll down on the educators’ pages to find these. Check the Civil Rights video set to the song “Amazing Grace,” for example. I just found this beautiful photo exhibit on the site: Art 2011, created by Mary Anne Reilly, of artist Mark Isham's work. The video has been viewed 124 times, though it was just uploaded a few hours ago. Take a look!

Go! Animate is another site I blogged about in the past. This site is different from Animoto. Instead of uploading photos or images, users work within the site to create characters, text boxes, and sounds, a bit like creating an animated movie. The site involves a bit more work than using Animoto, but some would argue it allows for more creativity and engagement and is excellent for telling a story or broadcasting information. This site would be good for creating stories collaboratively, with each student role playing a character in the script and writing the text boxes. There are some samples to view on the site. Check a couple to see how the site is different from Animoto.

Consider how you might use Go Animate! in your teaching. Do you think students would like the site? Would the site in your opinion support learning? How might it be used?


Janet said...

I signed up for the Animoto for educators. I'd love to give it a try before the end of the school year, but I'm running out of time. I enjoyed watching the sample movies,too. Seems likes there lots of ideas for movies. The Art 2011 movie was just beautiful.

Chuck said...

I just saw a school presentation that was created with Animoto in one of my graduate classes. The school made a video of students. It had great effects and the teacher said it did not take long to create. Having the teacher addition is great and will allow for easier creations for teachers.

Having a service like Animoto is great because their will not be formatting issues across platforms. People with Imovie have difficulty converting the files and people on PCs may have problems if they don't have all the same software to create and edit. Through Animoto online, students and teachers can integrate projects from anywhere. Home, library, or classroom, students can access Animoto. I forgot to mention my favorite's free!

Kelly said...

I can see my students really being engaged in using Animoto for creative projects, or creating a video portraying a significant scene from a novel, or giving information about a social studies topic in a different way. This allows students to add their own creativity and with graphic novels and video games grabbing students attention even more Animoto combines those two things. I like how it is easy to complete so it could be a quick assignment and students can work on it from home so not a lot of class time is used up for other projects.

Meghan said...

We just had a presentation on Windows Movie Maker, and it has completely changed my opinion of these movie making programs!
I think these programs are so great for any classroom. They have become extremely easy to use and I hope to use them in my own classroom in the future.
I once used Adobe Movie Maker a few years ago, and it was extremely tricky to use. It took forever to load, and was more of a hassle than anything else.
From the presentation in class, we were warned that students should use the same computer every time they edit their movies, because there is a connection problem between networked computers and sometimes edits do not save properly.
I hope to own a mac some day, because I heard IMovie is extremely easy to use!
I can't wait to leran how to use these programs on my own, they have the potential to be so much fun in my classroom!

Jenn O. said...

At our school we just had a visit with Jarrett Krosoczka, the author of the Lunch Lady series. The kids enjoyed it so much and now are very much interested in creating their own comics. They are drawing them during every spare moment they have. I immediately thought of GoAnimate to let them experiment with it. It was easy for them to use and letting the kids use it has inspired them to create comics for their yearly school-wide book presentation. They have created some really humorous clips. The good thing about it is they are enjoying writing and don't mind so much when they need to go back and edit and revise. It definitely makes it a more enjoyable process.

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