Tool Category/ies: Presentation  

License Type: Free + Pay Options


Overall Rating





Animoto is a web based resource that allows you to bring life and motion to your presentations. With this resource, you can easily add music soundtracks, video and motion to elements of a presentation. Animoto allows the user to take a typical power point slide presentation and make it more visually engaging by adding different elements of sound and visual motion.



Rating: 5/5

Reviewed by: Amy McClurd on 04/11/2013

Animoto is a video creation service (online and mobile) that makes it easy for anyone to create and share extraordinary videos using their own pictures, video clips, words and music.  Simply upload your pictures and video clips, choose your style, add words and music, and click the "produce video" button. Then, Animotos works its magic and within minutes brings it all to life with a beautifully orchestrated production you can share with family and friends.

Animoto can be used for everything from business and education to special occasions like birthdays, weddings and trips, to sending a quick special greeting, or just to share everyday moments.  Educators can can use it as a project based learning tool in much the same manner as Photo Story or Pixie.

The free version of Animoto allows a user to create presentations up to 30 seconds in length, and offers several themes or "skins" to choose from. The Plus version is $30 a year and allows the user to create Full-length videos, with a limited selection of styles and music tracks.  The Pro version, which costs $249 per year, allows a user to create presentations of any length and offers a larger number of skins to select from for a presentation. Animoto offers the Plus version free to educators.  Requests for the education version can take several weeks to process, and must be renewed every six months.

Things to know before using Animoto
Animoto is very easy to use. All you need is knowledge of computers and finding or loading pictures from a camera. Its hard to imagine a user requiring support or training for the free version; however, for the more advanced Pro version some, tutorials might be recommended.

Resources required to use Animoto
Since Animoto is a web-based application, you need access to the web to make a presentation. You also need to have Flash 10 installed on your computer, and you need to have Javascript turned on in your web browser. You also need to have images to serve as the content of the presentation. You can use Animoto using any current web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari), and you can use it on a PC, Mac or iPhone.

How to use Animoto in a teaching environment
I would not go so far as to say that an Animoto presentation is a replacement for PowerPoint presentation; however, it can be used as an effective teaching tool. Animoto can be used to create presentations with an emotional impact.  Last semester, I created the below Animoto presentation as an introduction to a video on the Holocaust.

Animoto presentations can be effective methods of introducing certain aspects of a topic to students. For example, I can see how Animoto could be a powerful tool in teaching Art History. The teacher could find images from the time period they are teaching to introduce the content.  They could even use Animoto to create a quiz by having the students write the name of the piece and artist as the image is displayed.  While you can add text to an Animoto presentation, it's best to keep the focus on the visual interest of the images.

Animoto is especially effective at  showing the stages of an event in sequence, with an image from one stage "dissolving" into an image representing the next stage.  For example, photos chronicling the life cycle of of a plant -- with the first photo taken of a seed and another photo taken each subsequent week or so -- would lend themselves well to presentation via Animoto.

Advantages of using Animoto
Animoto has several advantages.  It is an easy to use, cost effective presentation tool that can save you tons of time when trying to create a presentation with images.  It also has a good selection of templates and music to choose from.  You  can even upload video footage within the slide show.

Disadvantages of using Animoto
Some of the disadvantages are that the music and video synching is not precise and the Animoto logo appears on the slide show.  Also, you cant add your own voice audio.


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