We finished up the Animoto projects just before our spring break. The kids loved working with Animoto and were impressed with their results.
We learned a few things for next time and an updated student guide is available on the wiki. It is so important to have students do their storyboards first and have a very clear picture of what they are trying to say. When it comes to searching for images they have to be able to see how different images might be used to express one idea. They need to understand how a picture can be used as a metaphor.
Another problem area for students was in finding images with a creative commons license. Some chose to ignore our guidelines and when they downloaded non-CC images from Flickr they found them to be blank and given the file name" spaceball". So it was back to searching for them.
Some of the kids got way better text effects by creating text slides in PowerPoint and saving the slides as jpgs.
It was critical to have students sign up for Animoto using the coded URL provided when the teacher signs up for an educator's account. Some students signed up on their own not realizing they would be limited to 30-second projects. Animoto only permits one sign up per email address so a couple of students who only have one email address were unable to create second accounts with full access for themselves. I had them create their projects on my computer using my account - not an ideal situation.
When the students are ready to use Animoto they need to have saved their images and PowerPoint slides and have them available on their email, a flash drive or school server account. Some came to class ready to create their project but had all their materials stored on a computer at home.
I'm looking forward to trying out Animoto again. Next time we'll have some exemplars to show the kids for inspiration. If you've taken a look at the class projects please leave a comment here. The kids would love the feedback!