Students are more visual these days and all about the videos. Why not challenge them to use this interest for educational purposes. Two easy and multi-platform options are Animoto
. As mentioned in the previous blog post, videos are a great way to set the hook and for students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept. While the free trials/versions are limited in length, concepts can be broken down into their parts for a class to examine a topic more in depth at the teacher’s discretion.
Animoto allows you to take images to create a video. This is great to do with primary source images or student drawings. They have a selection of music options to serve as the background music. To tell the story you can add text over the images. Another option is to have students add text to the images beforehand or create a PPT and save it as a JPEG to use in Animoto. You can create your production on a computer, tablet, or even using your smart phone. Animoto is free for a 30 second shareable video. To make longer downloadable productions, a Teacher Plus account costs $30 a year.
Here is a brief video I made for a Google Docs training shred session.
Google Tools Slam 2013
Another option for video making is GoAnimate. As the name suggests, it is an animated short. It took me a bit to get going on this, however my students were quick learners and ran with it. There are a variety of settings, characters, animations, and voices that one can choose from. You can also use your own voice. Again, storyboarding prior to recording facilitates the selection and production process. Animoto offers a free 14 day trial and is a paid product after that. They also have teacher and district licenses with more options available. Again, I have found the investment worth it.