Product Review of Animoto: Slideshow Maker
Animoto: Slideshow Maker lets kids 13 and older combine pictures, video, music, and text to make video slideshows on a mobile device. It connects to an auto-generated Animoto web account, so teens can create, share, and access videos on a computer, too.
To get started, kids tap Create and choose a theme to determine the look of their slideshow. They can add a song from either their own or Animoto’s music library, and add video clips and text. An in-app camera lets them capture images, or they can import from their device’s gallery. Then, everything gets compiled into a 30-second slideshow-like presentation. With a paid upgrade, or a free educator’s upgrade (email address required), you can make slideshows of unlimited length — if you dare. Animoto stores all the videos teens create within the app and in their accounts on the Animoto website. All videos are available at the Video tab. And it’s easy to share videos, which is one of the prime things kids will be looking for. They can email their slideshows, send them as a text message, post them to a blog or website, export them to YouTube, or download them to a computer. They can also tag friends and share on Facebook or post on Twitter. Finally, kids can download their slideshows to their device’s camera roll.
Any school experience — including class assignments, field trips, science experiments, and school plays — can find new life in a skillful and engaging way with Animoto. Students can easily share their pretty projects, too. All Animoto videos default to private and are public only if kids opt to share a video’s URL. Still, you’ll have to keep an eye on things, as sharing through a variety of social media or through email and SMS is very easy to do with both the Animoto app and on the website. Location Services also defaults to on, but this can be turned off manually in the device’s privacy settings.
Animoto excels in its simplicity and impressive final product. It uses “Cinematic Artificial Intelligence” to analyze music, photos, and video clips to produce customized and orchestrated transitions. If learners get lost, helpful editing tools show them how to spotlight, rotate, duplicate, or delete images. The text tool lets them add relevant messages, statistics, and captions to entertain and educate their audience — which is, of course, you and their friends.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Teens will enjoy using their device or web-based account to collate photos and video clips into customized video slideshows. The app’s interface is well designed, straightforward, and engaging.
Curriculum and Instruction
Video slideshows are easy to make with Animoto. Teens organize and stylize their experiences, and then share them via social media.
There’s an obvious starting point, and users walk through steps to create new video slideshows, so it’s OK that there’s no in-app tutorial. Helpful FAQs are in the settings and on the Animoto website.