Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Awesome Animoto!

Do you know about Animoto?

It's a site that allows you to "remix" photos and music and create essentially a movie trailer like presentation very, very quickly! Teachers and students are starting to use this tool to create quick classroom presentations or even as a quick "digital story" to help jump start discussions, build prior knowledge bases, or as a dynamic formative assessment tool to help guide instruction to the next destination!

When students are working in a rote, traditional environment, i.e. drill & skill, lecture as the primary forming of learning, reading as the primary form of learning, etc., then only about 10% of what a teacher does is getting through. A $10 return on a $100 investment would be ludicrous, wouldn't it? Why waste the money or energy on something that is not going to pay off? However, when what we do as teachers creates memorable moments for our students, when what we do is motivating and engaging, especially in the wake of all the 21st century tools that are available, the return on our teaching investment is maximized, and makes a whole lot more sense! When students have the opportunity to explore, analyze, evaluate, and create, learning occurs because their emotions are engaged. If their emotions are engaged, then they pay attention, which leads to learning and ultimately leads to performance. Animoto is a tool that helps to lock the kids into an engagement mode!

Recently, a valued member of my Digital Learning Network, Christa Anderson, had her kids create Animotos around the subject of Heroes. What follows is a repost of what Christa and her students blogged, including their Animoto video! You can connect to Christa's blog HERE and I would like to publicly thank her and her students for letting me repost. I think what they did is REALLY COOL!

The above video includes a few of my favorite quotes:

“We see the future and the future is ours.” ~Cesar Chavez
“Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“Life loves the liver of it.” ~Maya Angelou
“My life is my message.” ~Mahandas Gandhi
“We must use time effectively.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Merrium-Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of hero:

a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
b: an illustrious warrior
c: a person admired for their achievements and noble qualities
d: one that shows great courage
e: the central figure in an event, period, or movement
Click on the links above to learn a little more about each leader. Think about the quotes and choose one to interpret (explain). Using what you’ve learned about each person and the definition of hero, describe what you think the quote means. (Ideas to strengthen your response: explain how you could use the words to help guide your own life choices or describe how we can learn from role models like those listed above)

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