Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Animoto English Project

Image used under Creative Commons License by:
Uploaded on August 18, 2007 by Nicolai Kjærgaard

I started working with
one of the Gr. 11 English teachers on an Animoto project this week. It will be a few days before we actually get to Animoto as there is much prep work to do.

Ms. L. is just finishing up a unit of study on horror in literature and wants her students to express what they have learned about horror and the human psyche. I suggested they use Animoto and then link to their projects from the class wiki.

We talked about how their project will be similar to a 60-second commercial: great images, evocative music and a few choice words. We viewed Scary Mary, the Mary Poppins trailer remake, to give them some ideas.

We talked to them about only using images with a creative commons license and showed them flickr, compfight and behold. We talked about downloading images and how to cite them correctly. For this project they will create PowerPoint slides with their citations and save them as .jpg files so they can be added to the Animoto presentation. I didn’t know about this trick before and have @shannonwa in my Twitter network to thank for the idea.

The hardest part for many of the students seems to be in organizing their work: saving images to a file on the server and citing their sources. We have asked them to storyboard the project and given them the option of using pen/paper, Inspiration or Word. It surprises me how many have chosen the pen/paper option. The storyboarding is essential to get them to focus on their theme and to have a very clear idea about what they want to say. It's been a good exercise in brevity and capturing the essence of what they want to convey.


Anonymous said...

Awesome assignment! This is Becky, I work at ANIMOTO. Be sure to share the best assignments to, as we'd love to feature them on our education site!

Take care,

Lesley Edwards said...

Thanks Becky, glad you like it. We have a bit of a problem. Both the teacher and I have applied for education accounts but we can't figure out how to get the students on to Animoto through our accts. Can you help us? If you Direct Message me in Twitter I can give you my email (bookminder). Thanks!

jne presley said...

Hi! I was a bit confused by my teacher account initially, but found that just posting the link Animoto sends you in the confirmation, then having students register for their own accounts using that link is the trick... hope this helps! Love your project idea!

MrsE said...

The account sign up confused some of our students as well. Some were so excited to get started that they signed up on their own and didn't wait for us! Next time we'll be prepared for that. Did you see my latest blog post?