teacher resources / Web 2.0 / websites

Weekend Website #104: Animoto

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.

To sign up for Weekend Websites delivered to your email, click Weekend Websites here.

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 Examiner.com, 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.

Follow me.


7 thoughts on “Weekend Website #104: Animoto

  1. Absolutely, the 4th or 5th graders can do it. Only hassle (fr the teacher) is to set them all up for only a 6 month subscription and the teacher must have an e-mail to use as the “master” e-mail for ALL the students. I had great fun. The hard part is only 30 seconds if you don’t want to pay. I need to determine if there is a longer time for the videos if you sign up as a school/teacher.
    Absolutely great. The students will LOVE IT!

    • You are so right. For that very reason (30 second videos), we ended up using Photostory instead for a 5th grade year-end project. I taught the students both (well, they actually self-taught each other), and most ended up needed a longer presentation.

  2. I have had a free teacher account and was not limited to the 30 second video. I did one of a field trip to the zoo.

  3. Pingback: Weekend Website #104: Animoto | Technologies in the Elementary Classroom | Scoop.it

  4. Pingback: Dear Otto: What Can I Use Besides PowerPoint? | Ask a Tech Teacher

  5. Pingback: Dear Otto: What Can I Use Besides PowerPoint? « Ask a Tech Teacher

What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s