Digital Storytelling Tool

At my monthly Language Arts meeting at the DCIU, I learned about a number of different ways to use technology to support literacy instruction.
One of them was through use of a website called Animoto.
Animoto is a video-creation tool that is extremely simple to use, yet gives you impressive, professional-looking results.
You are able to upload images, text, short video clips, and music, and Animoto arranges them all  for you into a video that can be shared as a web link.  (Animoto also has an App for the iPhone.)
Feel free to visit the site and see a tutorial about how it works, and watch their Example Videos.
Some ways I can think of to use Animoto:
  • share videos containing images and text about the children at work (wish I’d heard of it sooner – it’d be great to have running in the hallway while parents wait for their turn at conferences!)
  • demonstrate the big ideas (and images) that the children have learned in a unit of study
  • retell the main idea and/or most important points from a work of fiction or nonfiction (Animoto only allows about two lines of text, so children really must boil ideas down to their essence in order to use text in their slideshows.)
  • recap a field trip or special event for families who couldn’t be there
Animoto has free upgraded accounts for educators, which can be applied for at their homepage, above, and scrolling to the bottom right.  Under Animoto for… you’ll see “education.”  Click here to apply to create an educator account – this must be approved, which they say can take a couple of weeks.  So, if you apply today, you can get busy making video slide shows soon!
When you’re in the “Animoto For Education” page, you’ll be able to see actual examples of ways other educators have used Animoto – from an alphabet letter/sound recognition slide show to one on bully prevention.
I’ve already created a couple of their free, short (30 seconds or less) videos – and it’s been easy and fun!

Have a great time using this with your students!