Animoto Engages Students

I love software that fosters effective learning and meaningful expression. Animoto, an online tool that produces gorgeous movies from photos and video clips, does both brilliantly.

I began using this amazing program two years ago, mostly to boost the overall look and feel of the online student news site, The Falconer. I noticed an immediate and significant boost in photography interest, with more and more students wanting to use Animoto to display their work. My budding journalists produce great content, but Animoto makes them extra confident about having their labors scrutinized by the masses.

Without question, Animoto fosters tremendous learning potential beyond the newsroom.

Each Wednesday, I spend 15-20 minutes speaking about politics and current events with my history students. I also ask each person to bring in an article that raises an important matter or issue of concern. In early September, a particularly creative student used the online tool to create a moving Animoto slideshow about 9/11, and plans for the tragedy’s 10th anniversary. I also introduced Animoto to a colleague, who used the software to have her students learn and present about the dangers of texting and driving.

And there’s more good news! Just tonight, I found out that teachers can apply for a free Animoto Plus account. The web site also provides a host of ideas about how to integrate the software into your curriculum. This is a great tool, and there’s no reason why more teachers shouldn’t be using it—especially if it’s free for classroom use.

As a coach, history and journalism teacher at Brimmer and May, a wonderful independent school in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, I have the absolute best job in the world. I am thrilled to get up every morning to engage with interesting young people, and I'm equally fortunate to have such amazing colleagues and mentors. As the founder of Spin Education, I encourage you to check-in frequently and submit posts and lessons—all in an effort to better our practice as teachers.

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