2. Review of Animoto

Web 2.0 reviews

  1. Name of the Tool    Animoto
  2. URL of the Tool http://animoto.com/
  3. Please select the one, primary category for this tool: Communication Tool, Collaboration Tool, Productivity Tool, Creativity Tool, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Tool, Reflection Tool, Feedback Tool, Networking/Social Tool, Presentation Tool

This was listed as a creativity tool but I see it chiefly as a communication/presentation tool.  It is creative only in the sense that one can use it to create a product, and therefore can make use of creativity.  However, there are very few options (choice of input  images) and sound track.  One could assemble a soundtrack in a separate tool and synch it, but that would be rather cludgey.

4 Please describe this tool in your own words in about 250 words.

    Animoto produces swf  video file consisting of a moving photomontage of images with semi-random transition modes between images (still or video clips) and a soundtrack.   The transition moves resemble those in  PowerPointTM but this is automated, producing the kind of transitions  you’d expect from high-end professional photographers.  The sound track makes use of a library of stored sound tracks but users can supply their own.  The product resembles a commercial. It is strongest on presenting images and thus emotive content but not specific information.   It is a fancy slideshow.

    This tool is great for showcasing images.  Thus, it can be used at testimonial dinners, wedding dinners, graduation dinners, or in studies of professional photographers.  If you want to spruce up some video or images from your recent vacation, this is your tool (except that it costs beyond 30”).

    5 What do you need to know before using this tool? (What skills do you need to have?)

      Unless you want to produce your own audio track in another tool (not provided), there is little to do and little to learn: upload a dozen image files, choose a sound track and start her up.

      6 What do you need to have before using this tool? (Resources)

        Access to web; a modest PC; access to images.

        7. How do you use this tool? (Write the basic steps using a numbered list)

            1. Upload images
            2. Highlight an image if desired
            3. Choose music
            4. Add text

              Here are the steps with screenshots:

              1. Choose a visual background:

              2. upload your images.  The 30” free video will use no more than 12 images.

              This shows the uploaded images at Animoto.  3. Select music:

              4. Customize by adding title and subtitle

              4. push the “create video button”!  It’s very straightforward.

              1. Please create an example with this tool and either embed in your blog or submit the URL.

              Here’s one I made attempting to show procedures (high content, low emotive content) http://animoto.com/play/RX8sH8Ec7sAwxWLWsJvllg

              This is not at all effective!  There are technical reasons on my side: low resolution image, for example.  But the content goes by too quickly, and having it flip in and out is distracting rather than appealing. Too much visual “noise” for this purpose. Note that for a longer video, one could dwell longer on an individual image.

              In contrast, here’s one that strikes me as very effect.  It uses the same  music.  The intellectual content is low, but the emotive content is high. This is “David’s Biscotti”  created by Edward Ard. Makes me hungry!

              Here’s one I made showcasing a few paintings of bats.

              1. Please describe a scenario of how you might use this tool in a teaching environment (about 500 words).

              I would be surprised to find a significant application in teaching. The animoto website contains testimonials from elementary schools- where it is used to spruce up student presentations –essentially it is a low content pleasing attention getter.  I think students might think they had done something impressive because it creates a fancy look.

              8. What are the advantages of using this tool in a teaching environment?

                If you have a reason to show a photomontage in class- this is the tool for you.

                9. What are the disadvantages of using this tool in a teaching environment?

                  No easy path to add a voice overlay. There is very little place for content. Two thumbs down as a teaching tool- until someone can show me!\

                  3 Comments (+add yours?)

                  1. Trackback: 2. Review of Animoto « Spallanzani's Bats by John Rodgers
                  2. Trackback: Addendum to my review of Animoto « Spallanzani's Bats by John Rodgers
                  3. arthurkoestler
                    Jul 22, 2010 @ 21:16:01

                    Reply

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