As educators we often forget to tell our story and to celebrate the great things that happen in our classrooms by sharing them with the world. Imagine the difference that could be achieved if only parents, community and colleagues could see the magic when it happens. All it would take would be a camera or video camera, the ability to make a movie, and a place to put that movie for others to see.
Fortunately, thanks to mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, we have the first need covered. AND thanks to super-easy, powerful, and FREE web tools like Animoto, we have the power to create professional looking videos in just minutes. Add to that a web presence tool like Weebly, Blogger, Twitter, Remind or Celly, and we can easily open a window to our classrooms, inviting stakeholders to see what makes our classrooms special.
What is Animoto, you ask?
And here is an example video created with Animoto for the ICATS Photo Challenge:
One of the great things about Animoto is that teachers can apply for free Animoto Plus accounts to use with their students. Use the button below to find out more.
After you have your account, it is easy to learn how to use Animoto to create professional-looking videos that show-off what is going on in your classroom. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- Get Started with Animoto
- Bringing Lessons to Life
- Animoto Activity Ideas
- 5 Ideas for Videos
- Light, Camera, Engagement!
- Animoto Tutorial
You can also check out this post on the ICATS website for more information about Animoto in the classroom:
- Create a video that introduces your class for parent night.
- Create a video that captures the process students go through as they complete a project.
- Create a video that celebrates a class milestone such as the first day of school.
- Create a video that captures a special class event such as a guest speaker or field trip.
- Create a video that advertises a special school event or function.
- Create a video invitation to a school or class event.
- Create a picture slideshow that shares your classroom with the world.
Why it Matters (Teaching Rubric)
An effective communication system in the classroom leads to a Respectful Culture (essential competency 3.4) by communicating in a way that is professional, positive, and inclusive of all students. By regularly sharing information about the classroom to families, responding promptly to contact from parents, and developing activities designed to engage families successfully, Animoto can help you provide a venue for Stakeholder Engagement and Communication (competency 4.4).
There are dozens of great web tools that allow teachers to create and edit video easily and for free. If you are looking for a few more creative possibilities, I encourage you to check out Magisto, Screencast-o-matic, or Stupeflix (website is no longer available).
Today’s challenge is to look at the options in a video communication tool like Animoto and reflect on how you could use this resource to enhance communication with the stakeholders in your classes / school. Share those reflections in the comments below and if you have another great video communication tool please feel free to add it to your comments as well. Commenting on others responses is a great way to share ideas and make educational connections, just remember that “active participation” is more than just an “attaboy” for someone else. Enjoy!
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