Saturday, September 25, 2010

Teacher Tech: Animoto

Well, yesterday was project day in Room 307. My students' first booktalks were due, and they had a choice: they could present a traditional booktalk OR they could create a book trailer. I've offered the book trailer option in the past haven't had many takers. Apparently, as is so often the case, that was my fault because this time around I had more trailers than traditional talks. So what did I do differently to correct my past mistakes? I have instituted a "Tech Thursday" talk in my classroom. Each Thursday, I share a different Web 2.0 tool that my students can use for various projects in the classroom, including book trailers. I have shared links to these tools in the past via my web site, but I have never taken class time to share them with the students (too pressured to cram, cram, cram for that EOC, I think). I've realized now that the "Tech Thursday" talks don't take that much time and the pay off far outweighs the time loss anyway. Plus, the kids love them!

So what does this have to do with animoto? Well, animoto was one of the first sites I shared with my students. I have an educator account (which I highly recommend) so I was able to share a code with my students that gives them 180 days of the "All Access" account. While the students could use a variety of tools to create their trailers (Movie Maker, Photostory, even Power Point), I had several who used animoto and did a great job! I showed students (on another "Tech Thursday") how to find pictures in the Creative Commons on Flickr that they could use for presentations with out worrying about copyright infringement (I also showed them how to use KnightCite to cite their pics), and they really took it from there. Some managed with the limited text options on animoto, while others used Power Point so that they could use more text and then saved the slides as jpegs to upload to animoto. Another beauty of animoto is that students can (and should) use the music offered by animoto for their videos to avoid those ever-problematic copyright issues. The selection is great, so my students had no problem finding songs that worked for their presentations.

Obviously, book trailers are just one option for using animoto. Teachers could also create videos using class pictures to share at parent nights or other events or to share on class webpages. Students could create videos representing characters or themes in books their reading in class. History classes could create videos for various time periods or events using historical photos. Teachers or students could combine text and photos to represent important vocabulary words. The possibilities are endless. Check it out! You won't be sorry! And make sure to apply for an educator account to get free access--it is an easy process!

No comments:

Post a Comment