How I Use It
I used this as part of a project on commonsensemedia.com. The kids wrote a simile comparing the media life to something. For example; "My media life is like NYC because there's always something going on." They then went on animoto.com, found pictures of digital media they use regularly, picked their theme, their music, added text and published their work. They then showed them to the class. They were really excited to showcase their personality and they are becoming more computer savvy. Instead of just looking up pictures and music, they are creating presentations. Next, I plan on having them create slideshows of the Greek pantheon for our new reading unit.
I LOVE this website. I found it through commonsensemedia.com. If you sign up for an educator account, you get 6 months of their pro feature free with 50 student accounts. Once on the site, you and your students can make short slideshow clips. The kids add their own photos, pick a background theme, pick a music theme, add text and voila, they have a professional slideshow presentation. I've used it once and my kids took right to it. So far there have been some minor issues. One setting it up takes a while, you have to set up an email account and then use it with a +number to create the kids accounts. There doesn't seem to be a way to stop the kids from changing this so make sure the kids are responsible. Another is I haven't received any of the kids finished projects to the new account yet. I'm waiting to hear what the problem is