I first used Animoto during the Voices of the World project last year when we made a short 30 second video featuring pictures that the children had drawn of Spain accompanied by a rather dubious rendition of the Spanish Himno Nacional by most of Key Stage 2.
Animoto describes itself as follows:
Animoto produces TV-quality music videos using your photos in just minutes.
It's so simple to do too. Choose a song as the soundtrack to your video and Animoto will analyze every nuance of it. Producing a totally unique video each time, no two videos are ever the same.
I thought it was a good tool then although the limit to 30 seconds for the free version was a little annoying. A while back, I saw it reported that educators could have a free account (saving you $30) and I was sure I'd registered then. However, it seems I hadn't as when I went back today, I didn't have an account. So I rapidly registered and began playing!
I'd been reminded of Animoto by a Twitter message saying that you could now add text to Animoto. So, having uploaded lots of pictures of flowers taken in my garden from iPhoto as a test Animoto video and then remixed it, I set about investigating the new facility.
I uploaded a set of photos from my Flickr account entitled Spanish food and drink. Next I sorted them a bit so that they were grouped vaguely. My first text screen was the title page, then I added a section title - Tapas and a comments about gazpacho - Me gusta mucho :o) . I then thought I'd make use of a set of pictures to tell a story - a man choosing from the menu and then enjoying his morning break - thanks to my model ;o) I was a little disappointed that you couldn't subtitle the pictures as I'd envisaged making a slideshow to teach food words. However, you could insert a text slide before or after each picture for revision I guess! Having selected a suitable piece of music from the Animoto library, I let Animoto work its magic and voilà - a video that can be emailed, uploaded to Youtube, downloaded and embedded as it is below.
If you want to learn more about Animoto, why not check out the site or the case studies section where you can find out how educators have used Animoto in their classroom.
I'll be exploring further and will keep you informed of how things go!!