The camera in you phone is more than likely better than the camera you forked out big bucks for five years ago. Because of these monumental leaps in technology, the smartphone has evolved to a point where nearly everybody is now a content creator. This means that the concept of a school video no longer requires the overenthusiastic parent trailing the class and everybody (students, teachers, parents) can contribute content to create a great school video.
But how do you easily collate, store and publish contributed images and video into a stunning, proffessional looking video? Enter Animoto…
Animoto is a cloud based video creation tool that is phenomenally simple to use and lets students, teachers and staff build and share their video content with ease. The site tagline gives a good sense of what the service provides: ‘Turn your photos, video clips, and music into video masterpieces to share with everyone‘.
This below video created with Animoto gives just a taste of what can be created by the service:
The first step to creating you school video is to select a theme. Animoto provides a huge variety of themes that can be chosen depending on the look and feel you want. They vary from quite basic moving picture themes to full blown animations and 3D effects. Some of the holiday themes are great to get younger students interested in video creation and are a brilliant opportunity for them to create and share content with their family.
Photo and Video
Once a theme is chosen, the picture and video content needs to be added. This is simply a matter of either uploading content from your machine or pointing Animoto to a Facebook, Flickr or Picasa photo album. Animoto also provides a set of stock images and video if you need to bulk up your own collection.
To really make the video ‘pop’ it is essential to get the right backing music. Animoto allows you to either upload your own (make sure you have the rights to use the song) or select from their fairly extensive music database. For a school video it is really effective if you can use a soundtrack provided by students. Whether it be the school orchestra, choir or music class it adds further personality to the video.
Text and Captions
The last optional step is to add in relevant text and captions to the video. Although this is optional it really provides an extra dimension and helps tell the story. The text and captions mean the video feels more like a film than a boring slideshow of someone else’s pictures. It is also a great exercise to have students create a video timeline with text and captions before putting it together in Animoto.
On The Go
Animoto also creates an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod that gives a similar experience to the browser app. The great thing about using the mobile app is you can take pictures on the device and have an Animoto video created and shared in minutes. Your school video of a class trip could be up and done before you even get back to the classroom.
Animoto gives a number of options as far as sharing goes. Video can be shared easily via Facebook and Twitter as the social network are built into the video creation site. It is also possible to export video in a form to be uploaded to hosting networks such as YouTube and Vimeo. If, like much school video, you want to distribute DVD’s to family and friends, Animoto also allows you to export and directly burn to disc.
All videos are totally private unless you actively share your video’s link with others and/or post it elsewhere. No one can stumble across, search for, or access your video without your permission.
You can get on straight away and try Animoto by creating a free 30 second video. If you love it as much as we do and want to use it with your class, Animoto provides free Animoto Plus Accounts for use in the classroom at: http://animoto.com/education
Share some of your Animoto videos or tell us what software you use to compile school video.