What is Animoto?
Animoto is a Web 2.0 application that allows users to create professional-looking videos in minutes by uploading photos, choosing those that they want to spotlight, and selecting music from Animoto's extensive library or uploading their own music. Animoto works its magic adding very slick transitions and professional effects to the video.
Website: http://animoto.com/
1 minute video explanation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvjRzaUYoLw
3 minute video explanation: http://amazon.sjsu.edu/html-df246b3/spring2009/cooltools_animoto.html

Does Animoto cost anything?
Animoto for Educators is free! http://animoto.com/education
You need to apply using your school email, then It takes a day or two to be enrolled.
On the regular, non-educators site: 30 second Animotos are free for everyone. Full Length videos: $30/yr.

Special features:
You can learn more from the Animoto for Education FAQs page. Here are some highlights:
  • Children under 13 are allowed to use the service if the teacher establishes dummy e-mail accounts. *
  • Students can work on Animoto project simultaneously with the Animoto class option.
  • Students will be able to make full-length videos and will be able to download them.
  • Videos are not searchable on Animoto. So, student created content is private (although, each video does have a unique URL address and can be embedded if desired.)
  • Teachers will be provided with a classroom code to share with their students.
  • Here is what Animoto suggests as an option for the dummy e-mail accounts

You can register at Animoto numerous times using your own e-mail address by doing this:

All activity at the Animoto website under these accounts will be sent to your original, derivative e-mail (i.e. emailaddress@gmail.com). This way, you'll be able to give each student a unique Animoto account, while also being able to monitor their account's activity.
You can use this dummy gmail account feature when registering students for Animoto as well as for other Web 2.0 applications, such as: Voicethread, Bubbl.us, Pageflakes, etc.

To learn more about how to set your and your students up with All-Access via your classroom code, go to: http://animoto.com/education/getting_started

To download a printable "How to Use Your Classroom Code" guide for your students, go to: http://biz.animoto.com/education/classcode_sm.pdf

Want to insert video clips in your Animoto? **http://animoto.com/video**
It is simple to upload your video file and then choose 3-5 second clips to insert in your Animoto video.

How could Animoto be used in the classroom? Quotes from teachers
- To record and share field trip photos, class projects,sporting events, biographies, field trips, digital storytelling, science projects ...
- I used animoto with 4th graders to replace an "old fashioned" written report on a country of their choice. They were graded on their
research notes, their animoto, and how well they were able to answer questions from their peers after the animoto showing.
- I have used Animoto as "Engagement" (or "hook") part of a 5E modeled lesson plan- a good platform to get students thinking about
what they are going to be studying and also a way to activiate prior knowledge.
- Introduction to a unit (Romeo and Juliet example): http://thehurt.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/classroom-tech-part-iii-animoto/
- I created a welcome video to post on my class wiki to introduce my students to what they will learn in 7th grade language arts:
- Students have created a sort of visual dictionary for the class. As a homework assignment (so students aren’t tearing up the school’s
bandwidth), students could create a short 15-second video on a particular vocabulary word. It would have the word, a definition,
and several images that help visually convey what the word means
- Gr. 3-5 Adapting a Fairy Tale Animoto project:
- Parent night, course website (PE course examples): http://veltensjournal.blogspot.com/2009/12/animotocom.html

Using Animoto as a Tool for Assessment:
Lots of different examples: http://animoto.com/education/case_studies
Language B Recycling- Spanish: http://www.boxoftricks.net/?p=475
Math: http://langwitches.org/blog/2010/01/06/math-tutorial-music-videos/
Science (scroll down to Plutonium video): http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/bsdbsd/category/digitial-storytelling/animoto/
Science: Watershed Unit http://www.nortellearnit.org/lessons/Science/lessonplans_watershed/ Example: http://animoto.com/play/y4FFPEhaNeXjk1vY1BvjPw?from=share
7th graders (not sure what class): http://www.chrislonge.com/index.cfm?subpage=795191
Language Arts: Instead of a book report- MS examples: http://bib20.blogspot.com/2009/02/animoto-book-trailers.html

Other tools, similar to Animoto:
http://www.stupeflix.com - Longer
Illuminated text: http://www.awaytoteach.net/?q=lcilltextsall

A source for free music to upload and use in Animoto: