Free Tools Challenge #12 was something I was looking forward to. I love Animoto. I have used it many times before this challenge to create beautiful clips, memorise holidays and family gatherings.
My plan was to do the same thing this time. I had just come from my Spring Holiday and we celebrated our son's birthday there. So, what could be more logical? In fact, I was so looking forward to this challenge while I was on holiday that I kept directing my movie in my head and taking additional photos every day. I took the advice from one of the Animoto tutorials and photographed everything from our arrival onwards. Here is my holiday clip:
I was happy with my clip, but I wanted more this time. I have always sensed that Animoto could do much, much more than just create moving photo albums. So, I first came up with the idea of using it as a kind of a picture dictionary. I used their photos and worked with what I could find there. Here is the result:
This is just an idea. You can create thousands of these clips, depending on the vocabulary you need to teach or recycle. It is relatively easy to find the right image for anything among the Creative Commons images.
I still wasn't satisfied. I wanted to try telling a real digital story in Animoto, so I recycled an old one. It is The Boy Who Listened and it was first created in Mixbook. You can read the original story here and the related blog post is here.
Luckily, I had all the photos in a separate folder and I uploaded them into Animoto. I had to shorten the text a little, but it was worth it. When you are creating in Animoto, you never know what the final product is going to look like, but this exceeded my expectations. See for yourselves:
This can be used in the classroom in so many ways. The first thing that comes to my mind is recording role plays. Or students can write their own short stories or dialogues, record them and finally upload the photos to Animoto.
I was ready to wrap this post up when I suddenly had an idea. Yes, another one.
What if I recorded my own voice in the MP3 format, uploaded it to Animoto and told my story that way.
Luckily, I could yet again recycle an old project for this. It is a poem called The Dragon which I had recorded in Myna by Aviary for one of my online courses. You can find the relevant post here. I just needed the right images... Something to suggest the loneliness of the dragon, some caves perhaps. It was easier than I had thought to find the images. I used a search engine called Compfight which in my case is set to Creative Commons images.
OK, I will not hide it - I am very proud of this:
(Photos used in this clip: 1. DSC_0237, 2. Lonely tree on Planina lake, 3. Lonely in golden place!, 4. Maldives, a place you want to be, 5. DGJ_1985 - Paint my world (view Large), 6. Natural Bridge, 7. Vodable - cave - 26-08-2007 - 11h49, 8. THE SECRET OF NATURAL ARCH, 9. HDRcavernOrton, 10. NORWAY Flåm: Waterfall "Kjofossen" 18.953.17, 11. One Thousand and One Nights, 12. Phong Nha Cave, Vietnam, 13. Deep Inside the Iris Cave, 14. Ice cave in Glacier Gray, 15. Deja Vu, 16. Lavatube, Mojave National Preserve, 17. Ruby Falls, 18. The End of the Tunnel, 19. Reed flute cave, 20. Vodable - cave - 27-08-2007 - 11h05, 21. Devetashka cave, 22. Pirate's Gold, 23. Red Dragon Horizon, 24. The Dragon Cloud)
To sum up - you can do anything with Animoto. It is adaptable and it will never let you down. Whether you want to tell a story, use Animoto as a learning and teaching tool or simply record memorable events, Animoto is the right choice.