Archive for the Category »W5: Animoto «

Show and Tell

Anyone else having issues with Animoto? It seems to eat my creations by never coming out of the processing, analyzing, and rendering page. I tried twice… :(

Ok, apparently it takes forever to get the videos done. Like more than an hour each. So if you hit the edit button wrong… you have to wait some more…

Updates pending…

Ambrosia Remix

DST allows a more visual teaching opportunity in this case, which I cobbled together after my first attempt rendered for too long that it seemed lost. Revisions still pending because my “story” seems too literal and less allegorical… but wanted to get something up before the deadline since it takes at least an hour for me to render each revision. :(

If you’re curious, here’s what I was constructing for my first attempt (which doesn’t have the text yet).

Experiment Incomplete

The biggest problem I had seemed to be the lack of control. I couldn’t reorder the images and had to use additional software/hacks/websites to get video clips that I wanted from YouTube. When I finished rendering, I found the result to be a total surprise with the funky transitions and appearances. In addition, I found it difficult to create a coherent story without planning every little detail because of the inflexibilities within Animoto. The result perhaps seems too straightforward and simple than something truly interesting…

Category: W5: Animoto  One Comment
A literal video on teaching and learning

Literal video on teaching and learning

Okay, like Rose_Nylund in the Golden Girls, I took this assignment at face value: create a video about learning today. That being said, like many other people I found this assignment extremely useful for trying out Animoto, which I didn’t know existed up until a week and a half ago. I wanted to focus on learning the technology without making my life complicated with images, so I worked almost entirely with Animoto’s library, becoming VERY farmiliar with it. Additionally, I went into Powerpoint and made some diagrams to illustrate the story. Ideally, I would have liked to animate these diagrams, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that (and I’m open to having anyone show me!). As a visually-oriented person, I think images are very important in explaining abstract concepts, and this is what I attempted to do with my diagrams (and because of how Animoto is structured, I’m not sure how it will turn out–I wish we could have previewed our videos). I also think pictures and movies help to set a pace. That’s what I tried to do here. Hence, in this video, fixed pictures are associated with the “old way” and moving pictures with the “new way”.

Overall, I was impressed with Animoto, particularly its ease of use. But I don’t like the slideshow format. It mitigated against what I was trying to do. I do wish they had some more features you could manipulate elements better, and I wish you could control the transitions. Also, at first I was angry that you couldn’t enter very much text, but it challenged me to put very few words in and is probably best as there are limitations as to how much one person can read. This bothers me about many Powerpoints–they put way too much information on one slide than is necessary. So more than anything, Animoto’s limitations helped drive creativity.

As far as the video itself, it could probably be smoother, but this exercise helped me to see several issues in digital storytelling. That’s good.

Anyway, enjoy!

Literal Story on Teaching and Learning

Category: W5: Animoto  5 Comments
Animoto Video

Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards

I have to admit, I finished my movie before I looked back at the assignment and realized it was supposed to be ABOUT teaching and learning, and not just “something with some pedagogical value.” I hope that’s alright.

I decided to do a very brief sketch about the life of Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards– best known today as the voice of Jiminy Cricket, but a superstar in his own right in the 1920s.

I don’t know what to think of Animoto. It’s a nice tool in that it makes things quick. The video I made looks, to my eye, far more professional than the amount of time I spent on it would indicate.

That said, a lot of that “look” is somewhat distracting flash, and honestly, it PAINS me to sacrifice so much control. There are some transitions that work quite well– I especially liked the one between the cartoon of Edwards and the picture of Jiminy Cricket. But some others were far less effective– and a couple were just downright ugly.

The trick, of course, is to have lots of tools, and to use the appropriate tool for the appropriate task. Don’t go after a lug nut with a hammer, or what have you. And Animoto is a nice tool for turning out something quickly with a good deal of flash and apparent polish. I wouldn’t trust a tool like this for anything that I wanted closely related to my name, though– or anything on too sensitive a topic. It seems like a good tool for working fast and loose, and less so when a sensitive hand is called for.

At any rate, it was a fun little project, and I’ll definitely try to use the site again before the end of the semester.


As an aside:

1) Why can’t we embed videos on this blog? This confuses me, given the class.
2) Has anyone else played with Xtranormal? See any pedagogical value there? I only played with it once, recreating a scene from “Glengarry Glen Ross,” to limited effect. I’m linking it here, but be warned– there’s some Not Safe For Work language in there, if you’re not familiar with the play…

Category: W5: Animoto  2 Comments
Mobilizing for WWII

Mobilizing for World War II

Since the assignment was to create a movie related to teaching, I decided to make something that I could use in one of my classes. The video shows the war mobilization process that the United States went through at the beginning of World War II. The idea came from a power point presentation that I made to teach 11th grade U.S. History. I took the text from the power point and turned it into a script, then inserted the pictures I already had from the original presentation. When I changed the text to make it more narrative it left gaps in the images, so I supplemented the originals with a few extra photos and some war production posters. The idea is that this would be something a teacher could use to introduce a lesson on WWII war mobilization. It’s not enough information to be a complete lesson on the topic for a high school history course, but it’s exactly the right kind of format and presentation style to catch teenagers’ attention at the beginning of a class.

This was the first time I’d ever made any kind of presentation or video in a format more advanced than power point, so it was definitely interesting. It took me forever to finish it, but now that I know how the program works, I think it will go much faster next time. Overall, I was really happy with how it turned out. The only main problem I have with the program is the limits on text. There were several times that I had to split sentences into two different slides and couldn’t get the complete thought on the screen at once. I also wish there was a way to preview and edit the video without having to republish it every time, since that seemed to take awhile.

Category: W5: Animoto  One Comment
National History Day 2009

On the theme of teaching and learning, I chose to compose a short Animoto film on National History Day.  I wanted to capture the experience of young students researching and collaborating with classmates on a history project.  My approach was similar to my approach for the ‘story in 5 photos’ – in fact, this is really more of a story in 10 photos.  Perhaps I should have made more use of the text frames as my classmates have.  However, I just hoped that the photos would do the talking for me.

I wasn’t pleased with the Animoto interface.  It seems rather limiting.  That by itself might not be a problem, but it is also rather slow.  Each time I tried to change my video, it would take around 15 minutes to reload.

Without further ado, here is National History Day 2009.

Category: W5: Animoto  One Comment
Not to beat a dead horse with a stick…

I wanted to use some different photos from the ones I used for the 5 pics, but…snow, Valentine’s and family sickness all made time precious this last week. Everyone probably feels that their submissions were somewhat thrown together quickly, that even with a simple tool like Animoto we probably haven’t even touched the surface of what we could do.

I previously developed a photographic exercise with 9th grade world history students in Chapel Hill, NC-where I asked them to imagine themselves as traveling to India and writing a journal. I would speak as their tour guide, offering facts and no opinions. For 90-100 minutes, they “traveled” and we then broke into group discussion as they “de-briefed” and shared their insight. This Animoto video asks questions that either I asked as an instructor, or students asked each other. In the end, the point of the exercise was to gain a better sense of personal identity through a glimpse into a foreign, perhaps exotic, culture.

Animoto video: How do you see yourself?

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Animoto Video (Country Blues)

This was a lot of fun! Click here to see my blues video.

This video is a brief introduction to some of the major musical figures of the Country Blues. My initial conception was to do a biography of Robert Johnson, but  format does not allow for large amounts of written information, and I found this a real challenge so  I switched my subject to a general introduction to the Country Blues. I tried to capture the “feel” of the blues with the images I selected. Some were originally color pictures but I switched them to B&W to both unify the final project and to made the video seem older and grittier.

The format was fun to work with but it is hard to see it facilitating deep learning. I can definitely see something like this as a good “teaser” though, especially in educational environments where students have some choice in the subjects they will research.  A short animoto video could introduce them to the topic or research question and based upon the video they could select the project they would like to undertake.

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Daily Paintings by Joan Marie Giampa

This was fun….
http://animoto.com/play/di8iepN0i79aF1DDlxBSJA?autostart=true

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Investigating Everyday Objects

Here is my attempt at using Animoto to produce a video for teaching about cultural interactions over time, and their relation to the present using commonly used articles in our homes.  History of Everyday Objects: Pots, is part of a larger presentation on several other objects, including textiles, ornaments, paper, and ceramics.

Here is another attempt, since people had trouble viewing the link. It seems to work. S Douglass video

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