I discovered Animoto this summer as part of the TeachersFirst summer book club.  One of the tools we had to try out was Animoto, a video-creation website.  This site is so easy to use, and the finished product looks great.  You start by choosing one of a variety of templates and a song to play in the background.  Then, you add videos, text, and pictures to create the slideshow.  The finished product looks very professional; it looks like you either a) have amazing video-editing skills or b) you hired someone to make it for you.  It’s a fun way to show off pictures from vacations, projects, or time in the classroom.

Here is the video that I created to show off my trip to New Orleans with two of my teacher friends from college.

There are so many ways you could use this in the classroom.  You could use it show off the entire process of a play or other large project.  You could use it to introduce a new unit or topic of study.  You could have students create them to display their own photographs or videos.  Students could also create visual summative assessments of what they have learned over the course of a unit.  Any time students can make a poster, they could also make a video on Animoto.

This year, I decided to add another component of my parent-teacher communication.  I used Animoto to create a video newsletter.  Every week, I will compile all of the photographs and videos that I collect over the course of the week and put them into a video slideshow.  I can them post that video to my class website and email it to parents for them to get a better picture of what we are doing in the classroom every day.  While they are a little time-consuming, for how great the product looks in the end, I would say it is time well-spent.


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