The 21st century Bloom’s Taxonomy lists “Creation” as the highest order of thinking skills. There are Seven 21st century Lifelong Skills students are expected to develop, and again creation is listed among them. Consistent in Bloom’s, the 7 Lifelong Skills students need for the future, the Constructivist Learning Theory, and the International Society for Technology in Education standards, creativity is what experts deem as a highly important skill. Tools that promote creativity allow students to express their learning and understanding in unique and meaningful ways.
One of my favorite tools that promotes creativity is Animoto. It is a video tool that is available to individual educators for free. It takes some navigating through the website to create your free Educator account, but it is well worth the extra clicks. If you sign up for the Basic account, you will only be allowed to use a limited number of images, audio, and backgrounds to create a 30-second video. Once you sign up for the Educator account, you will be able to choose multiple backgrounds and create videos up to 10-minutes long. Teachers will also be given a special code that can be shared with up to 50 students so they can also have the same level of access to the Animoto tools. Animoto includes images, video clips and music that you can use, or you can import your own. Videos can be created using the website or a mobile device application. Once produced, students can share their creations through an email link, upload to YouTube, or embed on a website. Videos can also be downloaded to a computer and saved to a DVD. The use of Animoto promotes creativity, publishing and, sharing of knowledge.
I have worked with many K-12 educators who have used Animoto in their classrooms in many different ways to promote student creativity. Sixth grade students created videos using text and free images to share their monthly book reports, such as a summary of an autobiography or fiction chapter book. In a high school language arts class, students created travel videos outlining locations in the story The Odyssey. In social studies, students collected data, and created videos using free images and text to summarize the information. A teacher put together a video on Cyber Safety to use as an introduction to using social media. A kindergarten teacher created a video using all of the images of students’ and the many activities they did throughout the year to share with parents. In a science class, students created a 30-second public service announcements on health topics. The key, I have found, is for the teacher to be open to whatever the student creates, only guiding them with a rubric and minimal requirements. To allow students to be creative when assigning a project, be it a brochure, pamphlet, poster, means to provide them with tools beyond paper and pencil. Give Animoto a try and discover how it can help you and your students.