Looking to enhance students' Web 2.0 competencies and build 21st-century skills? The Animoto tool allows anyone to create professional-looking projects using audio, photographs and video.
Fortunately, if you're a teacher looking to bring this fun and easy multimedia tool into the classroom, a free account will do just fine. Free accounts let students generate projects up to 30 seconds long in a limited number of styles and with a Web-streaming level of visual quality.
To get you started, EducationWorld offers three great classroom activity ideas based on free-account features of Animoto. And don't worry about the learning curve--immediately after creating an account, users can watch an informative video that shows how the functions work.
Students might enjoy one of the following technology integration activities:
30-Second "Shark Tank"
Do students have what it takes to impress the business sharks? Have them use Animoto to make a 30-second video pitch for their own inventions or business ventures. (Note: PicMonkey.com is a powerful free photo editor that students could use to create images for their Animoto videos.)
Once students have completed their Animoto videos, require each one to take a minute or two to introduce his/her presentation verbally before playing it for the class. During that time, students will explain how much of an investment they need from the sharks and why. This is a great group activity, but it works just as well as a solo project. (Groups of no more than three are recommended due to the brief nature of the presentation.)
At the end each pitch, ask classmates to weigh in--a couple of comments per pitch should do. Then ask the class to vote on whether they would invest in the idea or pass on the offer. Remind students that they are to act as objective business investors before they decide whether to invest in another group's product. Another fun option is including a negotiating portion after the pitch, if class time permits.
A monster is on the loose and attacking your town or city! Let students get creative by using Animoto to make their very own monster-related news stories. Have students use a paint application, or encourage them to do a public domain and/or Creative Commons search. Then, ask them to invent their own monster stories framed in the context of a hard news multimedia package.
Ask students to narrate their projects as they play, reading from a script that they've prepared. Is there an alien invasion? Is Sasquatch rooting through dumpsters? Did somebody bring carnivorous dinosaurs back to life? This is a great activity for pairs of students to complete together.
My Favorite Thing
Have students use Animoto to talk about their absolute most favorite thing. This activity works as a Web 2.0 "show and tell" while giving students the chance to talk about something passionately. Give students several minutes to verbally set up their projects, making the case for why their 30 seconds was well spent on the subject matter, and why they chose the content that they did for the multimedia presentation.