It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got around to checking out Animoto, one of the coolest sites to be making the rounds on the blogosphere lately. I first got wind of it from the Photojojo Blog, and after Jim Wenzloff wrote about it too, I had to check it out for myself. After getting an account on Animoto, logging in, and playing with the options to create my own MTV-inspired photo slideshow, I only have one word…”slick!”
Within minutes of using the site I was able to easily upload a few photos from my computer, add one of their many copyright approved music tracks, and create one of the best looking animated slideshows I’ve ever seen. Granted, I didn’t have to learn how to manipulate the images or properly insert the music at the right time because every single technical detail and process was handled by the computer, but how can you complain with results as beautiful as the one above? If more tools like Animoto continue to improve and simplify the process of creating high-quality multimedia presentations, it will make the last 20 years of multimedia in the classroom look like the “Dark Ages”.
Tools this easy to use may cause some educators to raise their voice in frustration that students should be learning how the tool works (backend databases, code, scripts, etc), but I’m definitely in the camp of believers that knowing how to use the tool is good enough for now. And as long as you keep the movies to 30 seconds or less, this “whizz-bang Internet magic” is completely free! Given it’s relative simplicity when compared to iMovie and Premier, I’m going to have my 4th or 5th graders create some animated, music-filled slideshows of the huge Peace Day Celebration we had last Friday here at school. The art teacher is excited, and after the short little clip I created of my daughter at the zoo (see the above movie), I’m eager to see what else we can create!