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Why Animoto is One of My Favorite Tech Tools – Guest Post

Animoto is a great way to make professional-looking videos.  In my seven years of teaching and trying hundreds (perhaps thousands!) of different tech tools, it remains one of my favorites.  I discovered Animoto at a PD session in my second year of teaching; five years later, I still use it on a near-weekly basis.
One of the best things about Animoto is its simplicity.  Anyone — no matter if you are a tech novice or expert — can use Animoto with ease.  As a teacher, I love making Animoto videos that highlight student work.  Both parents and students enjoy watching these videos.  I teach high school English and a common misconception about high school is that parents no longer want or need to see student work. The positive commentary I receive on the videos I make suggests the opposite: parents love to see what their children are creating in class.
For one assignment during the reading of Julius Caesar, students were asked to imagine that Twitter existed in Ancient Rome. Each student was assigned a character and used Simitator to generate their fake tweet. The results were hilarious and wonderful:

After reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, students created memes that made fun of the idiocracy and hypocrisy of Bradbury’s dystopian society:

More Animoto videos can be found on my YouTube channel.
I have even asked students to use Animoto to create variousassignments.  They have expressed that they also like the simplicity of the site.   One student even told me that she thought it was cool that her video looked like it took hours of work on her part, when it only actually took minutes:

Perhaps the thing I love most about Animoto is that Animoto loves educators.  Follow this link to apply for a free Animoto Plus account for use in your classroom (just make sure to use your school email address).  I have been an Animoto Plus subscriber for years and still find new and interesting ways to use Animoto in my classroom.  My hope is that Animoto will be able to do the same for you.
Guest Post by Nicole Schnibben
Nicole Schnibben is a 9th grade English teacher at Fort Mill High School in Fort Mill, SC. A former District Teacher of the Year from Kershaw County School District, Nicole holds a B.A. in English from Clemson and a Masters in Teaching English from University of South Carolina. With six years experience teaching in a 1:1 classroom, Nicole currently works with a class set of Chromebooks and integrates technology into her G/T, Honors, CP, TP and Inclusion level classes on a daily basis. A former self-professed technology pariah, Nicole now strives to teach outside of her technology comfort zone; she loves that technology can benefit her students and their learning experiences.

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