Weekend Website #104: Animoto

Every Friday, I share a website (or app) that I’ve heard about, checked into, gotten excited to use. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Animoto–create a video in a minute (if you’re in a hurry) or take your time to make it perfect. Either way, it’s easy.




4th and up




I’ve heard about this website for several years, but never shook its hand until I offered it to my fifth graders. To support their IB Exhibitions (a summative event required in IB schools at the end of 5th grade), I asked them to work in groups of 3-4, learn a Web 2.0 communication tool (click to see their choices and more detail on the lesson plan), and then teach it to their classmates. Truth, I was flipping the classroom. Many of the online tools I haven’t used myself, not for lack of interest, but because I haven’t had time.

Animoto became one of the stand-out lessons. Students collect images on a theme (in their case, a global issue like world hunger or deforestation), add music and words and tell the story with a multimedia approach. As its by-line says, Animoto is ‘fast, free, and shockingly easy’ with a collection of beautiful templates that will appeal to everyone. All of us students were impressed.

Animoto is free to use (after setting up an account) with the ubiquitous ‘pro’ version that offers upgrades.You sign in, select a theme, select pictures, music, videos from your collection or the website’s, add text to emphasize the message and render. A note about text: As with Twitter, you can’t type too much. This preserves the video being a multimedia event, not a visual report.

When you’re done, the video is rendered and available to be embedded in a website, blog or wiki, uploaded to YouTube, or viewed on Animoto’s website with a link.

I’d love to hear lesson plans you’ve used that include Animoto. Please share in the ‘comments’ section.

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Website #104: Animoto

  1. 2nd grade groups ( in collaboration with library media specialist) are writing about Fall. We used digital cameras to take pics of signs of Fall plus 1 tree. Subsequent walks will have students document changes in the signs and in their chosen tree. We will put pics into animoto to see the changes over time, using selected text from student writing.

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