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Easy Moviemaking in the Classroom

By Brian Smith on March 10, 2014
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Do you take a lot of pictures of your class? I love taking pictures and including them in my weekly newsletters. It's a great way to show the parents what we do in our room each week. Obviously, some weeks are going to be more exciting than others, but then you have some events that are so picture perfect that you wind up with more snapshots than you can realistically share in a newsletter. So the question becomes, how do you effectively share the pictures with the parents of your students in a relatively easy manner?

I have created Prezi presentations and slide shows but my favorite and the easiest way for me to share pictures is using Animoto. This is an online program that offers free accounts to educators called Animoto for Education.


I have used Animoto to create movies for:

  •                 End-of-the-year celebrations

  •                 Field trips

  •                 Special units of study (such as penguins or gingerbread)

JaymieAll four kindergarten classes at my school participate in eight days of swim lessons at our local YMCA. One of my favorite subjects for the movies that I make is of our swim lessons. I hope you take a minute to watch our swim lessons movie.

I know there are a ton of moviemaker programs out there and if you have one you love, you could easily list many features about it that make it your favorite. Here are some reasons why Animoto is my favorite moviemaker:

  • Lots of backgrounds to choose from

  • Automatically includes transitions

  • Changing the order of the pictures is super easy

  • If you want one picture to appear longer in the movie, it's a simple click

  • Easily insert text between the pictures

  • They have lots of choices in music (not necessarily music you would hear on the radio) but there are some good choices. In addition, there are no copyright issues when you use their music. My favorite song to use is "Smile" by Keegan Smith.

  • To share, just email a link to parents or include the link in a newsletter

  • Shows exactly how long the video is with each addition/deletion of pictures/text

I am in no way getting any compensation from Animoto (although I wouldn’t turn it down! LOL) but I do love using it. If you are looking for an easy moviemaker, you may want to try it to see what you think.

Let’s connect on Pinterest and Twitter.

I can’t wait to see you next week.

Comments (9)

I usually make a DVD with all my pictures for each of my students at the end of the year as a gift. Can I do this with Animoto? I NEED something easier to use and this sounds like it might be just what I am looking for.

Hi! Keep up the great work!

Thanks Becky!

Only those who you give the link to can see the videos you create.

Thanks Lauren! I thought it was something along those lines because our school system is very protective about privacy issues but I started second guessing myself about it responded. Thanks so much!!!

Is there any way to narrate each photo? Is there a limit to how many photos?

Hi! The length of the song and the speed at which the pictures display. You can set the speed. You can also go shorter than the length of the song but not longer. I have added text to pictures before but make sure that you slow the speed that the pictures display I have never added voice to the pictures and to be honest I don't know that you can. If another reader knows if you are able to add VoiceOver to pictures please comment so I can learn how to do that too! Thanks for reading!

Hi Kathy!
That is a very valid concern. We have photo releases that parents sign and I can only use the students that have a signed release. Thanks for reading!

How do you deal with the privacy issues? Animoto is a public share site, I would be worried about who could potentially be looking at my students.....

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