I used Animoto with pupils for the first time today to create book trailers. I have planned to use it with all year 7 pupils in library lessons, but used it today with my book group. This gave me the chance to see how it would work in practice, but with a smaller group of 9 pupils.
After using it with this group, I have found the following issues
- Pupils will need detailed instructions for signing up and creating their account
- They will need a very structured activity which will detail the minimum number of text slides and images they should have
- The so-called promo code for the edu account did not give us access to premium account settings, meaning videos were limited to 30 seconds
- Thin-client machines in the library did not cope very well with high-graphic load from animoto, freezing IE at times… Fat client PCs in IT rooms would be more suitable
- A double lesson was not long enough, in this instance and this will need to be considered for Library lessons, which are only a single lesson. However, a more tightly structured plan might mean this could be completed in two lessons.
The pupils enjoyed using animoto and are looking forward to finishing their videos next week. This is a positive outcome, particularly after some if the technical issues which made it difficult for pupils to finish their work.
Using this resource for the first time has meant that I now have another activity that can be used with pupils, and has given me confidence in using it with a full class. It will be a useful resource as it means:
- Pupils can create visually impressive video results in a very simple way
- Pupils are presenting their learning and understanding in new forms
- These videos can be shared, embedded etc so that their work can be shared with their peers, teachers and parents
- Pupils are learning how to use 21st century, web2.0 technologies.
I can see that it could be a successful lesson with all year 7 pupils from this initial trialling of using Animoto. There are obviously some issues to be taken into account, from both a technical and a planning point of view, which will ultimately feed into replanning the lessons that have been put together previously. If these can be ironed out, then the use of Animoto during year 7 induction lessons might be a successful one.