Thursday, October 27, 2022

Animoto for teacher creations

Animoto, the online video creation software app for desktop and iOS, has been around for a long time. And so have I! 

I made my first video with a free account at Animoto, using my iPhone 3GS, on August 3, 2009. I was amazed how easy it was to put photos up and have Animoto automatically create a cool 432 x 240 resolution video!

Here is that original video.

I soon realized how handy this tool could be! In August of 2010, I was asked to create a promotional video for our school district's new tagline, "Nauset Believes". 

I immediately knew I was going to use Animoto. I had teachers in our seven schools send me photos to include in the video. With music tracks to pick from and automated cool transitions, everyone was wowed by my Animoto creation!

Over the next twelve years, I conducted professional development sessions in my district and at conferences across country and I always included Animoto as a cool tool for any teacher's toolbox and as a great tool for students to showcase their content knowledge as a summative or formative assessment video.

As I continued to use Animoto to create videos, there were tons of additional components to make my videos stand out. It was fun to try the new templates and themes one could pick from!

For all these years, Animoto continued to offer a free basic account. In addition they added all kinds of great new features to their paid offerings. So, when Animoto asked me to review their Professional Plus version, I jumped at the chance! I could not wait to see what cool features I could use!

As educators, we are always looking for free or freemium tools and apps. However, although a free account on Animoto allows us to create curriculum content for our classes, it is always worth trying out a higher tier of any tool for a month. 

You can see if there might be some included features that would help you make the creation process of your instructional videos for students easier, faster, or more engaging. In addition, some of the included features might also replace similar tools you are currently using.


Without reading any directions or learning about the new features, I dove right in and created a digital story. I did not use the new voice-over option, since I had located, in the assets in Animoto, such a great audio background to use!

I was easily able to download my assets from Google Photos to the desktop of my Mac, so I did not use another one of the new features which allows you to to connect your cloud storage (Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box) to your Animoto account. I will try that option, as well as the voice-over option, in my next video!


I decided to take a static Keynote presentation and turn it into an Animoto instructional video. I first exported all my Keynote slides as images and then easily imported them into Animoto. You can also import from any of your cloud-based services, too, as seen in the screenshot below.

I decided to try the voiceover feature. I had the option of recording behind each frame in the video via the site, or uploading an entire voiceover file from my local assets. 

I wrote a script and created the audio file in QuickTime Player on the Mac. I  exported the file it to my desktop as an .m4a audio file. I then uploaded the audio file to Animoto.

I used the Educational Presentation template as my starting point. I replaced all the images in the template with my Keynote slide images. I then took a lot of time investigating the background audio files that were available on Animoto, and imported my choice to the timeline. You can view all of the audio file or pick a "mood" you are looking for.

I then shortened or lengthened the timing of the individual slides to match the uploaded voiceover file. I also decreased the volume of the background audio I had chosen from the Animoto assets.

Rather than download the video and add it to this blog post, I decided to just share the link to where it sits on Animoto's site. I also had a choice to get the embed code for the video or download it, also.

Here is the link to the video: 

The instructional video was easy to create and the number of assets I had access too were awesome! The presentation I made is a standard instructional video, but, since I had already created the slides, it only took about an hour to complete the project. If I had decided to use animated text on each slide instead of the voiceover, it probably would have taken me longer to complete. 

Of course, with a video that has voiceover, it is important to include a transcript of the script online or printed out for any hearing impaired student. In addition, a transcript can help those that are more visual than auditory learners, as well as provide an overview of the information in the video for any student to refer to.

The pricing to subscribe to Animoto is by the month or, to save up to 50%, by the year. Each tier has all the components of the tier below and additional content, too.

  • Standard quality video (up to 720p)
  • 50 music tracks
  • 3 standard fonts
  • 30 color swatches
  • Unlimited social sharing
  • Available on desktop and iOS
  • Screen recording
  • Import from other cloud storage tools
BASIC PLAN ($8 per month)
  • All of the above plus..
  • No Animoto branding on your videos
  • High quality video (HD 1080p)
  • UnlimIted downloads
PROFESSIONAL PLAN ($15 per month)
  • All features of the Standard and Basic plans plus...
  • Add your own logo and colors
  • 1 million+ licensed stock images and videos from Getty Images
  • 3000 licensed music tracks
  • Voice-over
  • 3 saved template
  • 1 saved brand
  • 40 professional fonts
  • High quality video (HD 1080p)
  • All of the features of the Basic, Standard, and Professional plans plus...
  • Accounts for up to 3 users
  • License to resell to businesses
  • 100 million Premium licensed and stock images from Getty Images
  • 30-minute consultation with a video expert
  • Collect time-stamped comments
  • 25 saved templates
  • Multiple saved brands
  • Upload your own fonts

As you think about creating content to support teaching and learning, I encourage you to give Animoto a try. Start with the basic plan to learn how it works and then consider subscribing for a month to one of the higher-level plans to have access to additional components and assets.