Animoto Review: Chris Thomson’s perspective

July 29, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Digital Era, e-learning 
I had an email from Chris Thomson who is @electricchalk on twitter who wanted to post a comment on the blog but was blocked by his proxy. He has sent this to me by email and I thought I would post it up without editing.
I totally agree with you, Animoto in itself doesn’t have vast educational potential unless the work surrounding it ¬†is purposeful.
I supported some work with a drama teacher in a school in Sheffield where they were doing a project on bullying. The students worked in teams to devise and script a story and then took pictures of themselves acting it out. They then compiled an Animoto out of their images, choosing appropriate music and adding text. The teacher led them through a peer review process, giving and receiving feedback to each other which led to them re-editing their Animoto and refining it. They were then encouraged to do some personal reflection on how the process had gone and what they learnt about storytelling as a result.
Use of Animoto was incidental (it could have been any number of pieces of software) but the fact that it was an engaging tool meant that the students were motivated to complete the task and had a certain amount of pride in what they achieved.
I think you identify a real risk that people can get carried away with the shiny!

Animoto Review: Engaging… but educational?

July 28, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Cloud Computing, Digital Era 

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.