This lesson has evolved over several years and has taken me a long time to come up with a project that works for the limited time that students come to the library; every 10 days for 45 minutes. Our IT director, David Sinclair, sent a link to www.animoto.com and I’ve adapted it to a grade 4 environmental study unit. It would be interesting to see how others have used Animoto in lessons.
Students are put into groups that the teacher has already assigned and they have finished a project on how humans impact the environment. To begin, I have students sign up for an animoto account. In every class – 7 total - students made mistakes when creating an account. They have to write down the email address they use and I assigned the same password to everyone but they don’t type in their email account correctly. It is a time-waster and causes much frustration. Next year, even though it will be time consuming, I’m going to create generic accounts for the 7 to 9 groups in each class and assign an account. I have done this lesson for 2 years and plan on continuing to use it so the investment will be worthwhile.
The next part of the lesson has students looking for 8 images and downloading them to their network folder. This would be an excellent opportunity to teach students what sights are legal to use and not to use. I would like to talk to Nancy Gorneau, the grade 3-5 IT coordinator, and integrate this lesson with her. I would also like to use some of the useful websites Jeff Utecht presented in our SUNY class. I tried doing it this year but ran out of time because it took too long to sign up for accounts.
After finding 8 images, students then go to the website to create a video. I use the 30 second free animoto video. When I’ve used the upgraded, or subscription price, the students get too many pictures and it becomes too complicated and takes months to complete. Students can choose 8 images and make 2 text boxes. I tell them it is more like an advertisement where they tell what happens when humans do harmful acts to the environment. Choose create video and choose a style from the home page. Once the style is chosen you can choose free video.
Next choose, upload, then the “T” at the bottom for textbox. Click done and it saves. Choose music and render. When done I click on share and send it to my email account. This year teachers want students to put them on their blog. When I send the email to myself I get the URL for embedding. I have it for backup if there are problems.
I download all the videos and create one video using Corel Videostudio. I then play all of them outside the library on the LCD screen.