Students relate to video — it’s a growing part of how they share and how they absorb information. And if you’re looking for a good way to tap into that natural enthusiasm and understanding, it helps if you can communicate with video, too. That’s where Animoto comes in handy.
What is Animoto?
Animoto is a website that lets you easily create videos and slideshows. It’s cloud-based, so all the videos you create are saved in Animoto, and will be available no matter what room or computer you end up using. As a teacher, you can apply for a free Animoto Classroom account, and create up to 50 free sub-accounts for students. Animoto also has a free mobile app available for iOS and Android devices if you’ve got a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) classroom.
How do I use Animoto?
Animoto is easy enough for primary school students to use, but interesting enough that even adults will still find it engaging. It’s also pretty simple to use. After signing up for your free account, you can log onto animoto.com and get started. Just upload photos or video clips using a drag-and-drop interface, add some text, select a song, and finalize your video.
What would I use Animoto for?
If you’re not sure what kind of project you or your students should make, here are 6 accessible ideas to help you add video to your classroom:
1. Teacher intros. Make getting to know you a little easier at the start of the year with a quick video introducing yourself or your class. Use photos and videos you already have, and share with students and parents either before or after the start of the school year.
2. Vocabulary. Every subject has terms to know. Help students make real-world connections while adding some tech literacy to their lessons by having them create videos illustrating vocabulary terms. (Check out this ready-made lesson plan for more detail.)
3. Video recaps. Parents always want to know what’s going on in school, and video is an easy way to bring them in on events. You can create a video recap for your classroom, but it’s also a good way to share school-wide announcements, or information about performances, clubs, and other extra-curricular or after-school happenings. The best part? Video recaps are shamelessly easy. Just grab your smartphone during the event and take a few quick photos and video clips. Upload them to Animoto and you can send students and parents a short slideshow recapping the event.
4. Research project. Video is a way to differentiate instruction and help visual and auditory learners shine. And while we’re not suggesting you skip the written part of a project, including a video component can add an exciting angle that helps motivate all the learners in your class. Let students create a video biography (lesson plan here), explain a scientific or mathematical concept, hold a video scavenger hunt (lesson plan), or analyze a historical period or literary genre.
5. Introduce a unit or topic. Get students ready to learn with a video introducing your new unit. You can also add video as the focus for a one-off lesson — say when national holidays derail your usual flow.
6. Book trailer. Check for understanding in a way that’s more interactive than a traditional book report. Let students create video trailers for books they’re reading in class and then host a viewing party. Afterwards, you can even add QR codes to the back of class books with links to the corresponding trailer to help students choose which book to read next.
There are dozens of other ways to incorporate video into your classes in a meaningful way. Take a look at the Animoto in the Classroom page to find video more inspiration, discover links to more lesson ideas, and then apply for your free account to give it a try yourself.