I made this video for a few colleagues as an example of what Animoto does. They were impressed (with Animoto, not me; well, maybe with me, but I cannot speak to that). It’s also, conveniently, an argument (albeit a soft one) for digital writing — the kind of assignment I’m making you do. So, here, enjoy. Note: I use more text than you’re allowed to use. Neener-neener.

So this is an example of what Animoto does when you upload the images you want and put them in the order you want and select a soundtrack you want (from their library or your own). It’s easy to use and the product is always polished and interesting. It’s more user-friendly than iMovie (unless you’ve already got mad skills there) and far more interesting visually than Power Point. Prezi is fun but it’s more like Power Point and it also induces vertigo. I’m not familiar with Windows Movie Maker, but I hear that would work too (if you have it). Or you could use something else. But basically I’m saying make your life easier and use Animoto.

More. I put Animoto first on the assignment sheet because I think you should use Animoto, but I can’t make you because it’s only free for 30 second videos — and while 30 second videos with only, what, 12 pictures could be long enough, it is limiting and students usually want to do a little more. It’s not expensive to pay for a subscription — $5 I think, for a month of unlimited video-making — and you can cancel any time. Maybe you could pool your resources and create a joint account with a few classmates so you all chip in a buck and have a month of unlimited video-creation power. Or maybe that’s not possible or maybe that grates on your conscience. It’s sort of in an ethically gray area.

Again, you do not have to use this, it’s just a cool and easy-to-use tool, and 30 seconds could very well be enough. Length and impact are sometimes inversely related. Think about some of the most powerful image sequences: They’re fast. They’re short. Your process analysis is where you explain the different components and how they all work together (you do a rhetorical analysis of your video, basically) so don’t stress about the length of your video. Of course, having said that, now I need to qualify that statement: Your video should be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. There is no inherent grade-impacting benefit in making your video 2 minutes instead of 30 seconds.

So. If you end up using good ol’ Microsoft Power Point, it needs to undergo some mutation in order to be embedded on your blog. Essentially, you need to upload it to You Tube and then embed the html code for the video on your blog. That probably sounds more complicated than it really is…or maybe it will be more complicated, which always seems to be the case, doesn’t it? Oh, hey, guess what Animoto does? It makes it SUPER EASY to embed the video on your blog. I’m just saying.