How I Use It
I've been using Animoto for years with students. It can be a great way for students to introduce themselves to the class by using actual digital photos from home (via dropbox, email, or flash drive) - titled "About Me". Or you can use it for themed units in photography class. Students generated a mini commercial to a country and had to include country facts and pictures. For a history project, students picked a type of government and outlined their facts in text title pages, inserted pictures, maps, images of political cartoons, and even utilized the video option!
I think Animoto is easy to use for anyone. I really love the uploading your own music and video - it lets the students really "owe" their videos because they get to decide how to tailor the video to their needs. I do wish the video uploads allowed for longer than 10 seconds, though - this is the only downfall.