Animoto Review: Engaging… but educational?
Another late night and another review of something interesting I have come across this year. As I was taking a tour of Twynham School with one of our visitors on the last week of term we popped into a lesson where the students were using netbooks in their normal classroom. The class were producing presentations to send to David Cameron and a number were using PowerPoint as I might suspect. The interesting thing is that many of the students had opted to use a different presentation that the PowerPoint/movie maker norm- instead they were using Animoto.
Animoto is an ‘on the fly’ producer of presentations which incorporate your pictures, videos and music. Its value is in the ease and simplicity with which you can throw your different components into the web interface and quickly get a compelling presentation. Here is an example of a History presentation which would be used by a teacher at the start of a new unit to get students engaged.
I think the real value of Animoto beyond its simplicity as a mash-up tool is the way in which students are engaged by the production of engaging presentations. As we know for most students music is a major impact on their lives and the ability to add soundtracks or run one at random alongside movie quality effects certainly appeals. The other side of course is examining what the educational value is of such a tool. In the presentations I saw there was very little evidence that Animoto added anything here beyond engagement. That said Animoto also has an educational section where you can sign up so take a look here and try it for yourself.