Animoto: Video Maker & Editor

Create stylish slideshows and videos with simple, customizable features

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 78 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity, English Language Arts

Great for

Assessment, Creating Media, Media Literacy, Presentation

Price: Free to try
Platforms: Web, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac, Windows

Pros: Eye-catching final projects are fun to make and primed to share.

Cons: Students may often run up against premium pay walls; can have a corporate aesthetic.

Bottom Line: Slick videos and slideshows are easy to make, but it takes a little work to make it fit for classroom use.

Your best bet for Animoto is to draw on its strengths and recognize its limitations. It could be a useful, engaging way for students to present what they've learned about a subject. Or videos could showcase an art project or even a book report. It's fun to create slideshows or video presentations, and satisfying to watch the finished products. Options for slideshows are limited. There are many more choices in the video creation tool -- but although it's all well organized, it can be overwhelming. Teachers will likely need to keep a close eye on how students are doing so that they don't get lost in minor cosmetic details. Teachers should also be aware that there are many sharing options, so presentations can easily be made public.

If you're using a lot of video in the classroom, you might be interested in the "Using Video Effectively in the Classroom" resource.

Making flashy video and slideshow presentations with Animoto is simple. Access Animoto on the web or on a tablet. First, click Create, and then select to use the Animoto3, a video creation tool, or Animoto Memories, a video slideshow creator. Then choose a template or start a project from scratch. Whichever you choose, the site walks you through each next step. Choose a theme, and then upload short video clips and your own images or images from a Getty Images library. You can upload your own songs or songs from the site, and add text if you'd like. Like magic, the site creates a video and publishes it to your Animoto account. The finished product is a modern and engaging presentation that's appealing for kids and adults. 

Once a video is published, users can share the link, grab an embed code, export it to other video sites including YouTube, or download a version to the desktop. New themes for projects and new music tracks are added regularly, so there's always something new. A few how-to articles share some ideas for how to use video presentations in the classroom.

With the free version, there will be watermarks on the videos, limited downloads, and downgraded quality.

While Animoto is functional, it might take a little creativity to make it a good fit for your classroom. For teachers trying to engage students in digital storytelling, the slideshow might not be the best tool; creating one is simple and straightforward, but the ease of use means that you automate a lot of the creative process and don't have much editorial control. The main problem is that you can't adjust transitions; the site syncs them to the rhythm of the song, which is fine for a vacation slideshow but has limited potential in the classroom. 

The video creation tool has a lot more freedom and flexibility, but students might need significant guidance. There are a few articles with inspiration for using Animoto in the classroom, however, and with a little creativity there's lots of potential. But there's not a ton of teacher support, and the tool seems set up more for business and other non-educational settings.

It's also a bit tricky to get teachers and students access to Animoto. There's a free version available, but students need to have an email account and be over 13 years old to get an account. A how-to article details how to get students under 13 years of age signed up, including setting up shell Gmail addresses for them. Some teachers may not feel that jumping through these hoops is worth it, considering the paywalls for premium features. Still, if you're willing to take some extra steps to set up, and to maneuver around the invitations to upgrade to a premium paid version, Animoto is a fun way to make professional-looking videos or slideshows.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Kids will have fun creating slick-looking content with a simple selection and upload process for music, images, and video clips.


Arranging images and videos can hone storytelling, but you can't control transitions or add narration for free, so there's a lack of depth.


Simple videos on the developer's website show how to build a video project, and the homepage offers plenty of advice.

Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

Good app that is beginner friendly as well!

In my opinion, this app is very good! and beginner friendly as well! For someone who is just being introduced to video making, or just wants a quick way to make a nice video, this is the app for you.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be not shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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