Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Web 2.0 Updates: Animoto Revisited

In the middle of August 2010 as I was progressing through the online class School Library Learning 2.0, one of the tutorials focused on the slide video creator,  Animoto.  At the time I was amazed by how quickly and simply a video could be made. 

Recently I received an email from Animoto stating that they had made upgrades to this web 2.0 application.

When going to the home page a user can click on Create Video in the upper right hand corner where you are taken to Pick a video style.  Or if you click on Get Started in the left center of the page a chart of plans and pricing appears.  For no fee, users can make unlimited videos that are thirty seconds in length (this is about twelve slides) as well as video greetings.  For thirty dollars per year unlimited videos that are full length can be created and downloaded along with video greetings. 

To sign up enter in an email address, password, first and last name, date of birth and sex.  Users must be 13 years of age.  You can also sign in via Facebook if you prefer.  After signing in, the page on the left appears.  From this page previously made projects can be edited, The Animoto Blog can be accessed and a new guide explaining the changes can be read and viewed.

When the Edit Project button is chosen the drop down menu lists these options:  Edit/Create Video, Rename or Delete.  When your mouse moves over the exact title of a work an Actions button appears listing:  Remix, Upgrade resolution, Download, Share, Export, Embed, Rename or Delete. 

To begin anew click Create Video and chose from eighteen free video styles.  Beneath each style is a create video button.  Pick and click on one.  You will be directed to create a new account or sign in.  After signing in, this screen will appear.  You can add pictures or videos or view a quick tutorial.

When you click the Add Pics & Vids button this screen appears.  Pictures and videos can be uploaded from your computer, brought in from your Facebook account, Flickr, SmugMug, Photobucket or Picasa in addition to looking through Animoto's own pictures and videos.

As the graphics or videos are added they appear on the work space.  Their order can be changed by clicking and dragging.

If any one of the graphics is clicked on, a panel on the right is highlighted. This panel includes a spotlight, rotate, duplicate, shuffle and delete choice.  When a visual is spotlighted it will be held for a longer time during the video.

This screen comes into view when the Choose Music button is chosen.  MP3 files can be uploaded from your computer.  Each genre in the Animoto collection has a sizable list of songs of varying lengths from which to choose. 

An extra slide can be added when you choose Add Text.  A short header and text are your options.

When the Advanced Settings option is clicked a Video Title, Producer, and Description can be added to the video that has been created.

When you have the style, graphics, music and text chosen and arranged to your satisfaction click Produce Video.  When the video has been produced by Animoto this screen comes into view.

The video can be shared via email or posted to a huge assortment of social networks.  It can be embedded in a web site or blog using HTML.  It can be downloaded as a MP4 or exported to YouTube or SmugMug.  Additional tools available at this point are remixing or deleting the video.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Since its election to the AASL Top 25 Web Sites for Teaching and Learning in 2009 under the Media Sharing portion of Standards for the 21st-Century Learner, Animoto has improved by leaps and bounds.

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