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Weekend Website #104: Animoto

Posted by on August 3, 2012

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.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade, creator of two technology training books for middle school and three ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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