When Animoto launched its Education Program earlier this year, offering access to premium features free of charge to educators, it became obvious that Animoto had great potential as a powerful educational tool.
Earlier this term I looked at using video as an assessment tool and discovered how powerful video can be when you allow your students the freedom to be creative with only the simplest of briefs: this is your topic, go and create.
Animoto lends itself tremendously easily to this philosophy, as it allows students to work creatively towards a given goal: learning Spanish in this case. The video above was the first to be handed in (via Edmodo).
This is why I decided to keep returning to Animoto regularly with different year groups as way to exploit the enthusiasm and creativity that students show when using technology and harness it so that some of it would transfer to the relatively less exciting task of extended writing and practising oral pronunciation in a foreign language.
Once more the brief was simple:
- Write 200 – 250 words on How we can improve the environment in Spanish
- Create an Animoto photo montage
- Record your script, edit and mix it using Audacity and upload it to Animoto
Click here to read the original instructions in a post in our subject blog.
Why do it this way?
Firstly, it fits nicely with my schemes of work. We had just completed the topic The Environment and were about to start the topic Technology, which allowed me to introduce the Animoto Challenge -El Desafío Animoto- in the target language, bringing up and highlighting all the vocabulary that my students had to learn in this new topic anyway, such as: upload, download, website, save, record, etc.
Secondly, in doing it this way, the students learn some skills which they will find useful outside my subject, such as recording and editing sound or using online video editing tools. These are transferable skills which can be applied in any subject or, indeed, in any situation, in and beyond education.
Thirdly, students get an enormous sense of achievement at the end of the process. They are proud of their work and, to top it all, their work can be showed off to friends, family and discerning educators such as yourselves ;).
If you are interested in seeing some more of my student’s work, visit our subject blog.
What do you think? Are you doing similar stuff? I’d love to find out if you are!