Tools like Adobe Spark, Typito, Shadow Puppet Edu, and old-standby Animoto make it easy for students to quickly create videos. I often use these tools when introducing video production projects to teachers or students who have never attempted make videos in their classrooms. Here are three types of assignments that you can build around audio slideshow video tools.
Biographical/ Autobiographical Stories
Have students arrange a short audio slideshow about historical figures they’re learning about in your classroom. Shadow Puppet Edu offers a built-in image search tool that makes it easy for students to find public domain pictures of historical figures.
Or have students tell short stories about themselves to introduce themselves to their classmates. Students can pull pictures from their personal cell phones or social media accounts to complete this project. (If social media is blocked in your school, ask students to download pictures at home and place them in a Google Drive or Dropbox folder to use in school).
Book Trailer Videos
In place of or in addition to a traditional book report have students create an audio slideshow video about books they’ve recently read. Students can use images they made or grab images from sites like Photos for Class to use in their videos.
Whether they’re studying current events or historical events students can create video timelines by arranging images into a sequence that demonstrates the development of a significant event. Ask students to layer text onto their images to include dates and descriptions.
The knock against tools like Animoto has always been that they make it “too easy” for students to make a video and therefore students don’t learn anything by making videos through these tools. As with most things in the world of educational technology it’s not so much the complexity of the tool that matters, it’s the assignment that you give to students that matters.