Teacher Review for Animoto: Slideshow Maker

Students create 30-second window to their minds!

Jean K.
Classroom teacher
Russell Sage JHS, Forest Hills
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
My eighth English Language Learners with different levels and needs were paired up to create a video to sum up the year before graduation/summer break. ELLs were paired up based on their preference in topics. Some topics the ELLs came up with include fun events, memorable moments, friends, I learned..., and my favorite ____ . Students created impressive short videos to share with the class. All the videos received a loud applause and a few of them received a standing ovation. The webpage comes with the step-by-step tutorial, which makes the learning user-centered and minimally intimidating. Sample templates and videos are visually attractive, motivating, and encouraging. Everyone can make a professional-looking video in less than an hour! The website is fast. None of my 23 students experienced any glitches while on the page all at the same time. The Format and process of making videos on Animoto is intuitive and user-friendly. Even my ELLs with basic English proficiency did not have any trouble creating a video on this English-only website. Captions are optional so text is also supported if necessary. On the other hand, free account is allowed to create only 30-second long video, which is not long enough to cover more complex instructional topics in one video. When captions are added, it cuts some seconds away from the 30 seconds. Also, the video is a series of images put together with the background music. In order to create a user-narrated audio or to use more templates and customization, paid subscription is required. If you are okay with making a series of template based videos, Animoto can be pretty awesome for any types of learners.
My Take
Animoto is not a video-editing tool but a cool image slideshow maker. Animoto is the easiest web-based video maker I have incorporated into instruction. I have tried PhotoStory, iMovie, and PowerPoint Presentation Slideshow. Students are more engaged and responsive to digital contents these days. The increased level of motivation and enjoyment to create and share their ideas is incredible regardless of the students' learning styles, levels, language competencies, and/or cultures. I grade Animoto highly because it's user-friendly and intuitive for even novice video makers. I see myself using this a lot as a teaching tool, student-centered project, or even for fun video quizzes.