Online Composing Tools: Using Animoto in the Classroom
| Aug 26, 2011
by Marjie Podzielinski
Are you familiar with Animoto? It is a web 2.0 product that combines your choice of pictures and music to create videos. Many librarians and classroom teachers are using this tool to create Book Trailers rather than the old style book report. Students can storyboard their video making sure they have a beginning, middle, and end. They can choose music from Animoto itself or upload royalty free songs. This is a great way to combine artwork from the book itself (using a scanner) or allowing students to select pictures of their choice to tell the story they have read. It is a wonderful way to connect reading and books.
Last semester, I used Animoto with my sixth grade students as we embarked on a study of the 1960’s. There are many picture books relating to the racial conflict of the 1950’s and 60’s. I checked these out to the classroom teacher for students to utilize at the end of class activities. The class then decided whether they wanted to focus on Vietnam or the Civil Rights Conflict. To make a good Animoto production (Animoto.com) the students need about 25 good images and text. The photos were gleaned from Google Images, and I scanned some pages from selected picture books to be included as well. Students intermingled the photos with text. Although Animoto offers music selections, my students had to look farther to incorporate music from the decade. Royalty free music is a way to make certain there are no copyright violations.
For the last slide, students were required to include a “Works Cited” page. Please note that this must be saved in jpeg format to upload to Animoto. History came alive with these Animoto productions and it is a wonderful way to synthesize the topics you incorporate into a lesson. Marjie Podzielinski is a librarian at Couslon Tough School in The Woodlands, Texas. This article is part of a series from the Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).