How I Use It
I first used Animoto to create a video component for my professional portfolio (required by my district). All I had to do was select images (or video) to include. I then interspersed text slides to explain my images.
I plan to use it more with my students to practice digital story telling. Students will alternate text slide-image slide-text slide etc to create a digital story. They will have to carefully select images to add to their text to fully tell a story. We'll use this to enhance our understanding of the story structure.
Animoto is ridiculously easy to use. All I had to do was choose a few pictures to upload, add my text slides, and decide the order I wanted them to appear. Animoto automatically (customization tools are available) syncs the images, text, and music to create a video presentation.
Students can create free, 30-second videos (limited to around 7 slides). Teachers (with a school email) can upgrade to the "pro" version which offers longer video and a greater selection of music.
Text is limited to around 100 characters, but this can prevent students from creating dense, wordy slides (copy-and-paste addiction) and teach them to be concise.